The Center for Corruption and Organized Crime Research (OCCRP), together with journalists from 39 countries, published an investigation called Suisse Secrets (“Credit Suisse Secrets”), based on leaked customer data of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse. Investigation published on the OCCRP website.
The text alleges that the bank opened accounts for corrupt politicians and even criminals.
The OCCRP reports that the data on which the investigation is based was provided by an anonymous source to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The leaks contain information about more than 18,000 bank accounts opened from the 1940s until about the mid-2010s, which hold more than $100 billion in assets.
From the Russian media, Important Stories participated in the analysis of the data received from the Swiss bank. The publication reports that Russian politicians and other “politically significant persons” living in Russia are not mentioned in the database.
However, among the clients of Credit Suisse, they found relatives of the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and his predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
According to journalists, the Tokayevs have had a bank account since the late 1990s. The maximum amount held here was 1.5 million Swiss francs. This was in 2005.
After closing the Swiss account, in 2012 the Tokayevs opened two offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands. These companies did not conduct real activities. Wishing Well Group Inc. officially belonged to the ex-wife of the current head of Kazakhstan, Nadezhda, Wisdom Invest & Finance Inc. – President’s son Timur. According to the investigators, they were created for the British company Edelweiss Resources LLP to own through them. According to the March 2014 financial statements, the organization’s assets were $4 million in cash in the bank and $1 million in investments. As of 2015 both offshore and Edelweiss Resources LLP were closed.
“In those years, Tokayev held a number of high government positions, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Senate. Neither he nor his wife had a business,” the journalists say.
According to the investigation, from 2008 to 2012, the eldest daughter of the ex-president of Kazakhstan, Dariga Nazarbayeva, owned six accounts in a Swiss bank for a total of 5 billion rubles at the exchange rate for 2012. On the accounts of the second daughter of the first president of Kazakhstan, Dinara Kulibayeva and her husband Timur Kulibavea, during the same period, there was an amount in different currencies equivalent to 164 billion rubles.
One of the clients of the Swiss bank, as follows from the material, are the sons of the head of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijan) Vasif Talybov.
According to journalists, at the end of 2007 they received two transfers to their bank accounts: 19-year-old Seymour – $40,000, and 25-year-old Rza – $95,000. According to the leak, the payment was listed as “for fabrics”, although the accounts did not belong to the companies, and neither of the brothers was involved in the textile business.
Then the sons of Talybov began to receive larger transfers – up to 500 thousand dollars at a time. The purpose of payments were also related to trade: “for metal”, “for metal parts”, “for electrical equipment”. By the end of 2012, the Talybov brothers received more than $20 million between them.
The documents that were at the disposal of the investigators did not contain information on how the money of the Talybovs was spent. But journalists write that in 2008, the eldest of the Talibov brothers, Rza, founded a bank with his mother, cousin and several businessmen.
In addition, the Talybov brothers and their sister Bakharkhanym bought a dozen properties in Dubai, including a villa, an apart-hotel and many apartments. The value of their property is estimated at 63 million dollars.
“At the same time, Vasif Talybov’s official salary is less than 26 thousand dollars a year. His sons could not earn more, since Rza is an official of the migration service, and Seymour is a member of the local parliament,” the article says.
Journalists write that, with the help of an account at Credit Suisse, they allegedly bankrupted the Ukrainian agro-industrial company Mriya Agroholding. At the end of 2014, the company declared bankruptcy.
Later it became known that the members of the Guta family who owned the company withdrew huge sums from Mriya to the accounts of their offshore companies, and with this money they bought, in particular, a villa in Germany. Data from the “Credit Suisse Secrets” project showed that more than half of the funds were withdrawn from Mriya’s account with Credit Suisse, and the rest from the company’s account with the Bank of Cyprus.
Investigators found that in 2011-2013 the company carried out suspicious transactions: for example, it paid more than one hundred million dollars for the shares of eight Cypriot companies, although the total value of their assets did not exceed $12,000.
Journalists also found former Armenian President Armen Sargsyan, Baku Mayor Eldar Azizov, as well as a number of Uzbek intelligence officers and others among the bank’s clients.
Credit Suisse on the same day that the leak became known, categorically rejected accusations.
“The report is based on incomplete, inaccurate or selective information taken out of context, leading to biased interpretations of the bank’s business activities,” the bank said, adding that 90 percent of the accounts mentioned had already been closed or were in the process of closing prior to receiving press inquiries.
“We will continue to study the issue and take further action if necessary,” the bank said.