MOSCOW, February 13 (RAPSI) – Chief editor of Kazakh Tribuna newspaper, Zhanolat Mamay, was detained in criminal case related to alleged embezzlement from BTA Bank by its former owner Mukhtar Ablyazov, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.
Mamay is to stay in detention for two months as ruled by the Medeusky District Court of Alma-Ata.
Earlier, Kazakh national anti-corruption bureau reported that Mamay is suspected of laundering BTA Bank’s stolen funds under the guise of legitimate financial transactions through the Tribuna newspaper. Officials noted that the anti-corruption office carries out investigative measures, including searches for documents confirming the money laundering.
BTA Bank ex-chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling over $6 billion from BTA Bank, fled to the UK after the Kazakh government acquired a stake in BTA Bank in 2009 and the bank came under the control of its sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna.
He was granted political asylum in Britain in 2011. However, he remained a fugitive from justice since February 2012.
His whereabouts remained unknown until he was detained on July 31, 2013 near Cannes, France. Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine are all seeking his extradition.
In October 2015, French authorities approved Ablyazov’x extradition to Russia. In December 2016, French Conseil d'État, highest administrative government body, overruled prime-minister’s decision to extradite Ablayzov and released the tycoon from jail.