Kazakhstan’s tycoon reportedly detained in Moscow

ASTANA (TCA) — Police in Moscow have detained Kazakh tycoon Zhomart Ertaev, who is wanted in his home country and recently said he has been living in Russia, RFE/RL reported with reference to media reports in Russia and Kazakhstan.

According to the reports, Russian National Guard officers took part in the operation to detain Ertaev on May 8 near the Moskva-Citi business complex in the capital.

Several police cars blocked Ertaev’s high-end Mercedes SUV before detaining him and an associate, reports said. They said he was detained on suspicion of committing fraud when he headed private Kazakh bank Alyans Bank in 2002-07.

Kazakh authorities said in 2015 that Ertaev was wanted for the alleged theft of private property and that his whereabouts were unknown.

Ertaev spent nine months in pretrial detention in Kazakhstan in 2009 on embezzlement charges but was released after a court dropped the charge but found him guilty of misuse of the bank’s funds and violation of accounting regulations.

In late 2014, he became the director of Alma-TV cable television operator.

Last month, Ertaev said in an interview with the Tengrinews agency that he had been living in Russia for more than three years.

Russian media outlets say Ertaev is the chairman of Troyka-D Bank in Moscow and an honorary president of Alma Group, an investment company based at Moskva-Citi.

Neither Russian nor Kazakh officials issued official statements on Ertaev’s reported detainment.

Sergey Kwan