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Kenes Rakishev Bank Inquires To Revoke Political Asylum Of Shalabayev

News date: 28 July 2017

The citizen of Kazakhstan Syrym Shalabayev being the suspect of financial crimes and the holder of the asylum in Lithuania may be deprived of his Refugee Status. The lawyers representing in Lithuania BTA Bank that suffered multi-million Euro damages requested the Department of Police to commence an investigation of the information on the potential danger that S. Shalabayev may represent to public order and society due to his allegedly unlawful actions. The lawyers also applied to the Migration Department regarding the revocation of his asylum.

The lawyers representing BTA Bank have undertaken such actions after the new facts and circumstances turned out preceding the granting of the Refugee Status to the citizen of Kazakhstan and raising doubts concerning the feasibility of the status obtained by S. Shalabayev in Lithuania.

According to the lawyers, applying for asylum in Lithuania S. Shalabayev concealed from the Migration Department the significant information that five years ago he had been sentenced by the High Court of London to 18 months of imprisonment; however, he fled the United Kingdom to evade the penalty.

Moreover, it turned out that S. Shalabayev is suspected of the embezzlement of BTA Bank’s assets, and the law enforcement authorities of Ukraine and Kazakhstan requested Lithuania to extradite him. Vilnius District Prosecutor’s Office commenced the pretrial investigation of S. Shalabayev’s allegedly criminal activities related to the embezzlement of BTA Bank’s assets after he had been granted the asylum.

The High Court of the United Kingdom delivered a judgment against S. Shalabayev in the case regarding the large-scale misappropriation of assets. Pursuant to this judgment S. Shalabayev is obliged to pay to BTA Bank more than USD 294 mln. The fact that this judgment is subject to the enforcement in Lithuania has been confirmed by the Appellate Court of Lithuania. Such a decision was adopted after S. Shalabayev had been granted the asylum in Lithuania.

“Due to significant circumstances that arose after the citizen of Kazakhstan S. Shalabayev had applied for the asylum in Lithuania and the finding of facts that had been deliberately hidden during the obtainment of the asylum, it is required to reevaluate the status granted to S. Shalabayev in Lithuania. We believe there are sufficient legal grounds for the revocation of such status”, noted Roman Marchenko, the Attorney of the famous Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm representing the interests of BTA Bank, the assets of which have allegedly been embezzled by S. Shalabayev.

The story of the citizen of Kazakhstan living in Lithuania began several years ago when he was detained in Lithuania on Interpol’s order. Previously he had been hiding from the law enforcement authorities in different European countries. S. Shalabayev is suspected of the embezzlement of more than EUR 400 mln from the Kazakh BTA Bank. The pretrial investigations are being held against him in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Lithuania, as well as the civil case in the United Kingdom.

Ukraine and Kazakhstan are seeking S. Shalabayev’s extradition to their law enforcement authorities, however the obtained in Lithuania asylum enabled S. Shalabayev to evade the extradition. Currently he has been granted with the permanent residence permit in the European Union. He explains the charges brought against him as an attempt of Kazakhstan and Ukraine to punish him for his connections with political opposition in his native country.

It has been three years since the accomplice of S. Shalabayev – his brother-is-law Mukhtar

Ablyazov was remanded in custody in France. His extradition to Ukraine or Russia is currently being considered. As long as 17 April 2014 the UK Government revoked the asylum granted to M. Ablyazov in the UK.