Ex-president Atambayev’s “right hand” PM Isakov complicit in numerous corruption deals
According to Isakov’s tax declarations up to 2015, he hadn’t even had a tent not to mention having any real estate. Yet, his close relatives were in a completely different situation. Despite Isakov’s modest income, his relatives own impressive assets such as luxurious apartments in the center of Bishkek, high-end expensive vehicles, as well as prestigious plots in the capital. Here’s a quote from an article published by the Kyrgyz online news outlet Kactus: "... at the same time, Isakov’s close relative purchases a car, Lexus RX 450h, which was worth around 80,000 dollars.”
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sapar Isakov is the youngest PM in the post-Soviet bloc today, he is 40 years old, and if there was a contest of the worst politician in the country, Kyrgyz experts say, he would have undoubtedly beat everyone else. No other politician in the country can boast so many failures on the resume.
In one of the first interviews as the prime minister, Isakov said that he was “very happy and a very rich man”. Let’s shed some light on his wealth, which made the current prime minister quite happy.
The relatively young and already wealthy politician began started his career while studying at the Graduate School of the Higher School of Diplomacy and International Law of the International University of Kyrgyzstan. Master of International Law and, incidentally, a teacher at this university, probably had to “suffer” quite a bit living on the scholarship and the salary of a teacher, so the young future prime minister transferred to the international legal department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2003.
At the ministry, Isakov rose from being an attaché to the head of the department. And then his career skyrocketed. For a short period of time Isakov headed the Department of International Cooperation of the Government Office of the Kyrgyz Republic, and supervised the Communications Service of the Central Agency for Development, Investments and Innovations for a short while.
Right after the revolution Isakov headed the department of international relations of the apparatus of the interim government of the Kyrgyz Republic. Then he quickly jumped into the presidential administration as deputy head of the government of the Kyrgyz Republic (for the uninitiated - this is one of the most influential positions in the country). The young politician personally owes to the then president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev for this promotion.
The then head of state was so proud of the young protégé that he personally introduced him to the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, as his “right hand”.
But this “right hand”, despite the annual declaration of the absence of any income, was actually quite “dirty”.
According to Isakov’s tax declarations up to 2015, he hadn’t even had a tent not to mention having any real estate. Yet, his close relatives were in a completely different situation.
Despite Isakov’s modest income, his relatives own impressive assets such as luxurious apartments in the center of Bishkek, high-end expensive vehicles, as well as prestigious plots in the capital. Here’s a quote from an article published by the Kyrgyz online news outlet Kactus: "... at the same time, Isakov’s close relative purchases a car, Lexus RX 450h, which was worth around 80,000 dollars.”
While the income of this relative was quite modest: for the whole year he or she earned only 64,000 soms ....
By the way, Isakov himself, is not very modest when it comes to spending. He spent tens times more, than he and his spouse earned together in 2015-2016. While he earned about 1 million soms a year, he spent almost 10 million annually. So where does a modest public servant, who constantly declares his total poverty, get such incomes?
Journalists found out that all the funds of the Kyrgyz prime minister are coming from the “secret business”, which in a legal term is referred to as corruption.
Let’s put together the “business projects” of the current prime minister. Getting ahead we note, a thousand pages won’t be enough to recount all of them. Let’s also keep in mind that he is the right hand of Atambayev, who had been also, as reported in the world media, complicit in various financial schemes.
The biggest and most profitable business of the current prime minister (for his personal gain, of course) is an attempt to attract the Czech company LiglassTrading for the construction of 14 small hydropower stations in Kyrgyzstan.
Isakov showed utmost cunning so the Czech company would start their business in his country, he tried his best to make them sign the contracts, forcing out Russian companies. By the way, according to the agreements of 2009, the Russian Federation even then gave Kyrgyzstan $1.7 billion in credit for the construction of Verkhne-Narynsky and Kambar-Ata hydroelectric power stations, as well as a state loan of $300 million and a grant of $150 million).
But most of all the prime minister hoped to receive a loan from LiglassTrading in Czech banks under the agreement signed with Bishkek. However, Czech Export Bank refused LiglassTrading CZ, SRO request for the insurance of their investments in Kyrgyz projects due to the low economic rating of the republic.
What’s more, journalists found out that the company itself, never built anything, especially as big as the HPP facilities, its main specialization is the elementary purchase and sale of consumer goods.
Furthermore, the media discovered that the technical assignments for the construction of the Kyrgyz hydropower plants by the Czech company did not even exist.
Basically, a Mickey Mouse company put together by Isakov and his Czech partners. As it turned out, in fact, Isakov wanted to embezzle funds under the guise having a foreign investor: both those that the Russians gave to the Kyrgyz government and those that were supposed to be borrowed from a Czech bank (of course, under the state guarantees of Kyrgyzstan).
Another strange “state business project” produced by Isakov and Co was an attempt to sell the state telecommunications company Alfa Telecom (Megacom) to a small-scale wholesale trader of tea from Moscow - Yelena Nagornaya. By the way, the strangest thing about this project by Isakov and Co is Nagornaya’s lack of financial means to buy the company, as well as relevant experience in telecommunications.
Isakov’s passion for telecommunications was also observed from his previous position in the central agency for development, investment and innovation.
Then, the future prime minister, also managed country’s cellular communication operators. It was his idea to force all cellular companies of the Kyrgyz Republic, to introduce the infamous tariff plan “60 tyiyns (cents in Kyrgyz currency) for each successful connection”. It was clear that at least half of those 60 tyiyns went to his or his relatives’ pocket.
* This is a translation of an article by a Kyrgyz online news agency and it is in no way representing the opinion of Central Asia Daily.