We are continuing the saga about the real estate property of rich Kazakhs in Czechia.
In our latest article, The Rector of a Private University – A Karlovy Vary Apartment Owner, we tell the story of Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev, the rector of the Kazakh Russian Medical University (KRMU).
In this article, we are investigating a newly-minted (as of January 2021) deputy of the Karaganda maslikhat of the 7th convocation and a member of the anticorruption public council of the local branch of the Nur Otan party.
You will recall that, for the rich CIS natives, buying real estate abroad is a popular means to invest. Given the unstable political situation in the countries with authoritarian regimes, rich people build their backup nests in the West, first of all, in Europe. The assets moved out of the countries via such means are not always of a criminal origin. But they often are. And, as a rule, only those connected with existing power can afford such an opportunity.
The USA, the UK, Switzerland and France are usually mentioned as the popular locations for investing the Kazakh money in palaces, elite cottages and luxury apartments. Few people take notice of the Czech Republic even though, judging by the data in the cadaster registries we have found, as recently as several decades ago, it was quite popular among the Kazakhs in search of a “safe heaven”.
In collaboration with our colleagues from the Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism, we have established which of the Kazakh citizens with the ties to the top power of the country have business-assets and real estate in Czechia (particularly, in Karlovy Vary and its suburbs) as well as tried to find out the origins of the funds they have invested there. One our colleague has visited Karlovy Vary and interviewed the locals. To read her report, click here.
Eldos Zhunusov owns a cozy flat in the elite part of Karlovy Vary (Tržiště 380/29). It is the very heart of the city.
It’s a walking distance from the city’s major attractions – the Market Colonnade, the Spa Triangle, the lookout tower of Charles the Fourth.
It was the Vykhod k moryu (“Marine Access”) Telegram-channel that drew attention to the deputy’s real estate.
Our partners from the Czech Centre for Investigative Journalists have verified the information and found way to access the selling/purchasing agreement.
The agreement says that the apartment was bought for 1 250 000 Czech korunas (49 000 euro) in May 2015 and is registered to not only Eldos Zhunusov but other members of the family – BakhtybayZhunusov, Beysembayeva Altynalmas, Zhunusova Tleuzhan, Zhunusova Togzhan and Zhandos Zholzhaksynov.
(For security reasons, we have concealed some data in the document).
It should be noted that the apartments located at Tržiště, 29 are small, about 50-60 MQ. Today, on Booking.com, one can book an apartment of a smaller size for $115-140 per day. However, considering that the flat is located in the very centre of the resort, this is quite smart an investment.
What do we know about deputy Eldos Zhunusov and his family?
Eldos Bakhtybayevich Zhunusov is 27 years of age.
He is a lawyer by profession. Starting from January 2021, he has been serving as a deputy of the Karaganda city maslikhat.
Here is the data from the website of the Karaganda city maslikhat.
Eldos Zhunusov was born on February 6, 1994, in Karaganda. He is an ethnic Kazakh.
In 2015, he graduated from the Buketov Karaganda State University majoring in legal sciences. In 2017, he completed the Buketov Karaganda State University masters course with a degree in legal sciences. In 2020, he completed the Buketov Karaganda State University doctoral program with a degree in legal sciences.
In 2020, he earned Ph.D. in legal sciences.
From 2015 to 2018, he was employed by the state prosecution office.
Starting from November 2018, he has been serving as the head of the chamber of legal consultants of the Karaganda region.
In 2019, he became the chair of the Karaganda regional branch of the Kazakhstanskiy Soyuz Yuristov (The Kazakhstan Union of Lawyers).
In 2020, he was appointed the vice-rector of the Central-Kazakhstan Academy.
Is a member of the anticorruption public council of the Karaganda branch of the Nur-Otan party.
Has been awarded with President Tokayev’s recognition letter for his active involvement in the presidential elections and the elections of the Karaganda regional akim; has received a commendation from the Minister of Justice for a significant contribution in the development of the public legal support; has been awarded with a commendation from the Department of Justice of the Karaganda region.
Is a member of the Nur-Otan party.
His father, Bakhytbay Zhunisov, is the Rector of the Central-Kazakhstan Academy in Karaganda. He has received the Order of Kurmet (Order of Honour) and the Order of Parasat (Order of Nobility), the medals in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Constitution, the medals in honour of the 20th and the 25th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The head of the Zhunusov family became famous in January 2017 when the public learned that, in January 2016, robbers broke open a safe in his Karaganda mansion and stole $1.228 mln (most of it in cash — $1.16 mln and only $68 000 in jewellery produced by famous European brands).
The sum of the stolen assets is quite impressive. Therefore, it is not surprising that they had been hiding the fact of the robbery for a whole year. In Kazakhstan, however, the truth always comes out.
When the matter became public, Bakhytbay Zhunusov explained to the journalists that he had earned this money not as an educator but as a businessman.
The rector even filed a legal claim against a reporter demanding to convict the latter of a criminal offence. According to the plaintiff, the reporter in question should not have published the data about the amount of money stolen from Zhunusov. Also, he should not have requested the public prosecution office to provide the data on the plaintiff’s assets and accounts abroad and he should not have asked about a possible investigation of the plaintiff by the anti-corruption authorities.
Eventually, the reporter (already fired from his job) admitted his guilt and the trial ended in reconciliation.
Even though Zhunusov had accused the reporter of slander, violation of personal privacy and dissemination of false information, the list of the stolen assets was disclosed in the text of the verdict of the Kazybekbiysky district court of the Karaganda city and reprinted by a number of media.
”Of them, 394 411 600 tenge and the following gold-made items in the amount of 23 120 680 tenge: a Freywille jewellery set (earrings, ring, chain, pendant) priced at 1 020 000 tenge; a Roberto Bravo jewellery set (earrings, ring, chain, pendant) priced at 5 100 000 tenge; a Samotsvety jewellery set (earrings, ring, chain, pendant) priced at 4 080 000 tenge; a Moncler jewellery set (chain, bracelets) priced at 1 190 000 tenge; diamond earrings priced at 800 000 tenge; a diamond ring priced at 450 000 tenge; an Hermes bracelet priced at 510 000 tenge; a diamond signet ring priced at 650 000 tenge; a wrist watch priced at 2 380 000 tenge; a Roberto Bravo set, 2015 collection, priced at 1 360 000 tenge; a Van Cleef jewellery set (chain, bracelet, ring) priced at 1 020 000 tenge; a diamond with sapphire set (ring, earrings, necklace) priced at 2 040 000 tenge; a Faberge egg priced at 2 520 680 tenge”.
As for the other signers of the real estate sale/purchasing agreement, Zholdas Zholzhaksynov is probably Eldos’ brother (since their father’s name is Bakhtybay Zholzhaksynovich and it is customary for Kazakhs to name their children in honour of the grandfather’s surname).
Two years ago, Zholdas Zholzhaksynov defended a dissertation paper at the Law-Enforcement Academy of Kazakhstan’s Public Prosecution Office; his father, Bakhtybay Zhunusov, is a member of the dissertation committee.
We have been unable to find any information about the rest of the family in the open sources. However, now we know that they have their own “emergency landing field” in Europe.
In our next publication, we will tell you about the Karlovy Vary real estate assets of former deputy of the Atyrau regional maslikhat Vladimir Pak.
Click here to read the first (introductory) material of the series.
Click here to read the second article of the series devoted to Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev, the rector of a private university.
Our investigative team: Nazira Darimbet, Alexey Tikhonov, Asem Tokayeva. With collaboration with other KZ.media reporters. In partnership with investigace.cz
In Russian click here