Mukhtar Ablyazov is certainly not the only one citizen of Kazakhstan who covers his financial crimes by marking it a ‘political activism’. He fled to the West together with a large group of relatives and bank and affiliated companies managers. What’s really funny: it raised a wave of copycats. Even petty criminals resorted to such tactics. One of the most comic cases of embezzlers and fraudsters turned ‘Ablyazov supporters’ is the case of Zhanna ‘Bota’ Akhmet.
Zhanna Bota aka Zhanar Akhmet
Zhanna Bota is not your average white collar criminal as the rest of the gang. Unlike many others she never was a banker. She just borrowed money from regular people and offered high returns. Instead of high returns there were no returns at all. In three years Zhanna ‘Bota’ Akhmet borrowed 50 millions tenge. It’s more than 300,000 USD at the time of borrowing. But it is a far cry for Mukhtar Ablyazov with his billions.
Zhanna Bota’s naive activity destined her to jail. In 2009 several lenders brought her to court. He was sentenced to seven years for major fraud.
The law codex of Kazakhstan, however, contains very powerful options for women. Woman can’t be jailed (for most offences) until her child reaches 18 years. So Zhanna Bota, who had a son, was never sentenced for a real jail term. Instead the term is delayed to 2021. Moreover the jail term is reduced while she raises her son. In 2021 she will not go to jail, instead she will be set free.
But it wasn’t a suitable solution for the said Zhanna ‘Bota’ Akhmet. It places an obligation to repay all debts. Debts are for cowards, decided Zhanna Bota.
She ran from justice to Ukraine violating her terms. There she started to bombard Facebook with ‘political’ stuff praising Mukhtar Ablyazov and his Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan movement. She presented her conviction as an act of oppression. After some battles with Ukrainian immigration services she was given asylum status in 2017.
Virtually no one believed her. The status was given on purely formal grounds. The person is a petty criminal with a small political footprint.
Mukhtar Ablyazov wasn’t happy though that his name was used for such a small scale affair. He openly embraced the ‘new activist’ but covertly asked her to stay off his name and DVK movement. The rumours are that Zhanna Bota literary gets payment and support from Mukhtar Ablyazov for not involving him in her miserable affairs. Finally Mukhtar Ablyazov has to pay the hush money for the ‘activist’.
Zhanna Bota and Mukhtar Ablyzov: the unlikely allies
Zhanna Bota, a body-positive woman in her 40’s, can’t be an icon of the protest. Her previous conviction and overall style frightens off potential supporters better than any government propaganda. She is kitschy and intellectually inferior to the base opposition level. That’s not the ties Mukhtar Ablyazov, Botagoz Jardemalie and Khrapunovs wish to see in their classy society.
Finally Mukhtar Ablyazov asked her to stay away from the DVK. The offer was paid and Zhanna Bota announced that ‘she leaves DVK and Muktar Ablyazov’ to join other opposition forces. The announcement is published in her video blog.
Soon Zhanna Bota will become someone else’s burden. Mukhtar Ablyazov is free from yet another compromising figure.