Smuggling case involving firms affiliated with a “family”*: more than KZT 45 billion returned to the budget

The State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan has recovered more than KZT 45 billion from authorized economic operators informed the Committee’s press service.

The Committee also added that in the result of customs inspections KZT 107.7 billion of customs payments, taxes and penalties were additionally paid to the budget. Authorized economic operators attempted to evade customs payments and taxes by understating the customs value of goods. The joint measures taken by the state revenue authorities with the prosecutor’s office and the anti-corruption service collected KZT 45,1 billion worth of customs payments and taxes to the state budget.

We recall that President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev had previously ordered a comprehensive inspection and enforcement of order at the customs border, following which Kazakh news agency KAZTAG reported on 29 January that Kazakhstan was checking customs operators linked to representatives of an influential family. Later, at a meeting on February 1, Tokayev returned to the topic instructing to strengthen the fight against corruption in customs and in a number of other areas – the president reported that half of those encountering corruption on the border had paid bribes to customs officers. Also on February 1, KazTAG reported that Yerlan Umurzakov and Malik Shaulenov, heads of the Dostyk and Altynkol customs check points had been fired. On the same day, the agency reported that a number of Kazakhstani firms associated with the influential family were suspected of smuggling products from China, the United Arab Emirates and Turkiye.

On 10 February, Majilis deputy Aidos Sarym promised to announce the names of the ultimate beneficiaries of the illegal schemes at Khorgos after the inspections.

On 14 February, Akorda reported that in three weeks eight criminal cases were initiated after the inspections at the Kazakhstan-China border.

On February 16, Kazakhstan raised the issue of “grey” turnover of Chinese goods at the level of the EAEU.

On February 22, it became known that customs discrepancies between Kazakhstan and China amounted to UD $5,7 billion. At the same time, it turned out that 90% of trucks from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan carry undeclared Chinese goods.

On May 3, the General Prosecutor’s Office reported that the damage caused by illegal customs schemes was estimated at KZT 165 billion.

On 8 September, the General Prosecutor’s Office revealed new details in the smuggling case involving firms linked to the so-called “family” – a group of individuals and entities linked to former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev or his relatives and reported about additional KZT 165 billion.

* “family” – a group of individuals and entities linked to former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev