We are continuing the saga on the real estate properties of rich Kazakhs in Czechia.
… Jatečni street in Karlovy Vary does not stand out for its luxurious mansions, and the area itself is located a little outside of the tourist centre.
Nonetheless, even today, amid the crisis intensified by the pandemic, buying real estate here is not that cheap – a two-bedroom apartment costs more than 100 000 euro. Earlier, in 2011, a Kazakh citizen Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev paid 242 000 euro for the same kind of flat.
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.
The hero of this story – Nurlan Temirbekovich Dzhaynakbayev does not like to be in the spotlight. Nonetheless, in Kazakhstan, he is quite well-known in certain circles (tied to healthcare and college-level education). For already quite a few years (starting from 2002) he has been holding the position of the Rector of the Kazakh Russian Medical University (KRMU). Apart from that, he has old ties with the family of the First President, particularly, with the latter’s eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva.
As we have already mentioned, our hero bought the apartment in Karlovy Vary (Jateční street, 2121/6) in 2011. The google maps photos of 2019 allow to see the exact location of the flat.
According to the Czech cadaster registry, the selling/purchasing process started on July 29, 2011, and ended on September 19 of the same year. The transaction papers we have at our disposal confirm the legality of the deal and illustrate the parameters, the features and the price of the purchased real estate asset.
This 107.33 MQ apartment consist of an entry hall, two bathrooms, a living-room with a kitchen, two bedrooms, an extended enclosed balcony, a basement and a parking spot.
Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev bought the apartment for 5 882 465 Czech korunas. Back then, it constituted about 242 000 euro. One must agree that, at the time (and even now), it was quite a substantial sum of money – both for an average Eastern European resident and for a Kazakh citizen with an average income.
According to the data of the Kazakh state statistics agency, in November 2011, the average wage in Kazakhstan constituted 91 793 tenge. Since, in 2011, the average exchange rate constituted 204.11 tenge per euro, 91 793 tenge constituted about 450 euro. With such income, it would take one about 45 years to save enough money to buy an apartment (if one wouldn’t eat and drink as the saying goes).
Let us be frank: we have not been able to find any official data on the wages of the senior staff of public and private colleges. We also do not know the exact amount of money Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev would receive in the capacity of the rector. However, according of the data provided by our insider who has access to the Kazakh higher education market, back then, the salary of a private college rector could be as high as 500 000 tenge per month, in other words, 2450 euro (according to the exchange rate of that time)
Therefore, over the course of the nine years he had been employed as the rector (our hero was appointed to this position in 2002), Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev would be able to save the required sum. Although, in our opinion (perhaps we are wrong?), it is unlikely that colleges would pay such salaries back in the 2000s. Even private ones. These figures were probably significantly lower.
One way or another, in Kazakhstan, one’s official income is by no means an indication of their wealth. In this country, anything can be converted into money, first and foremost, connections. Let’s take a look at Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev’s biography and the university he has been heading for so many years.
We have found the rector’s bio on the university website.
Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev was born in 1963. He has two college degrees – he is an MD and an attorney-at-law. He has received degrees of a candidate of science and a doctor of science (the highest academic degree in Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet countries). In 2005, he was awarded the title of docent (assistant professor) of medical science; in 2006, he became full professor.
In 2015, Dzhaynakbayev received the diploma of the “Scientist of the Year” international competition from the Academic Union Oxford (Category — Social Sciences, Mobile Medicine field).
As for the college Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev is chairing, the KRMU (Non-profit Education Organisation KazPossmeduniversitet, state licence AB 0026246) positions itself as one of the CIS biggest private colleges issuing state-recognised diplomas.
This is how the UniPage international organisation specialising in college-level education abroad and providing assistance to the people desiring to enter training institutions around the globe describes it.
“Kazakh Russian Medical University or Казахстанско—Российский Медицинский Университет — private higher education institution in Kazakhstan. KMU was founded in 1992. The main building is in Almaty. Kazakh Russian Medical University has garnered a reputation of a strong educational institution as it is among the top 60 universities of Kazakhstan.
The composition of the university. Kazakh Russian Medical University belongs to small universities, with a capacity of only 2000 students. 299 specialists are employed by the university.
Infrastructure. There is a library on the campus. Sports facilities can be a bonus for some students applying to Kazakh Russian Medical University”.
According to the information of the KRMU website, the tuition fee (depending on the major) constitutes 600-750 thousand tenge a year.
The university, says the website, was first called the Kazakh Medical Institute (KMI). It was founded in 1992 by Academic Mukhtar Aliyev, the in-law of Nursultan Nazarbayev whose eldest daughter Dariga was married to Aliyev’s son – Rakhat Aliyev – prior to 2007. (There. A “familial” connection has surfaced).
In the course of its life, KazPossmeduniversitet has undergone four state attestations (1998, 2003, 2007, 2012).
According to the egov.KZ digital system, the first registration dates back to February 28, 1997; the first founders include Russian-Kazakh Medical Institute LLP, Alma-Invest-Holding LLP, Mukhtar Aliyev and Dariga Nazarbayeva.
(For security reasons, we have concealed certain data in the documents presented in the article; the editorial office, of course, has all the originals.)
Rakhat Aliyev was a son of Academic and Ex-Minister of Healthcare Mukhtar Aliyev whose reputation in the medical world is just as dubious as the reputation of his eldest son’s is in politics.
Many remember the time when a number of the staff members of the surgery research institute chaired by Aliyev, Sr. went on hunger strike at the central square of Almaty in an act of protest against their boss. Back then, Aliyev. Sr. was able to defend himself against the bothersome professors many of whom had left the country. Apart from that, taking advantage of his status as the President’s co-father-in-law, Aliyev, Sr. gave the sack to the then Minister of Healthcare Amanbayev. After that, no one would question Aliyev’s reputation in public. In 1995, Mukhtar Aliyev was even awarded the country’s highest honour, the title of “the People’s Hero” (Halyk Kaharmany).
(Based on the materials from Kazakh internet-resources)
In May 2010, during one of the re-registration (that took place after Dariga Nazarbayeva had divorced Rakhat Aliyev who was living abroad at the time) the number of the founders decreased – Mukhar Aliyev was already gone, but Dariga Nazarbayeva remained.
You will recall that Academic Mukhtar Aliyev passed away in January 2015. He was 81 years old. He passed on a month before the mysterious death of his son Rakhat Aliyev in Austrian prison. Two years after his death, in April 2017, Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev became the chair of the KRMU (while keeping his position as the university’s rector).
In the course of the investigation, we have also found out that Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev, together with Dariga Nazarbayeva, has several patents of invention. We have been able to find three of them.
We are not going to assess the novelty of the inventions as well as what Dariga Nazarbayeva’s contribution in them was. But we will underscore that one of the patents was issued on September 15, 2011. Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev completed the Karlovy Vary selling/purchasing transaction and bought the apartment on September 19, 2011. Coincidence?
Who can say? Perhaps the professor has received the apartment in exchange for his loyalty? Of course, this is just conjecture.
Be as it may, there is no point in denying the fact that, if you have ties with Kazakhstan’s No.1 Family, you can achieve a big professional success and receive decent material benefits. The story of Professor Nurlan Dzhaynakbayev is yet another confirmation of it.
In our next publication, we will tell you the assets a deputy of the Karaganda maslikhat owns in Karlovy Vary. Click here to read the first article of the series “A Road to Europe: How Czechia’s Karlovy Vary Became a Paradise for Some Kazakhs”.
Our investigative team: Nazira Darimbet, Alexey Tikhonov, Asem Tokayeva. With participation of other kz.media reporters. In partnership with investigace.cz
In Russian click here