Mukhtar Ablyazov, a banker from Kazakhstan, is accused of being the world’s biggest swindler by his former employer, BTA Bank, says Evening Standard.
He says he’s a victim of political persecution. He fled to London last year in fear of Kazakhstan’s secret police.
BTA Bank, where he used to be Chairman, says he ran up losses of almost $12 billion. They’re accusing him of “suspicious loans, share deals and compromise agreements to his own offshore firms,” worth up to $2 billion.
Ablyazov, who claims he’s innocent of all charges, has employed tight security to protect him from murder attempts (he says they’ve tried it before) while he’s in hiding in London.
Now Ablyazov is being tried in London’s High Court and could be returned home to Kazakhstan.
But the banker, who co-founded Kazakhstan’s main opposition party, the DCK (and was jailed by the government in 2002) told the Evening Standard he’d been the victim of murder attempts and that his family would be in grave danger if the Court decides to return the family to their homeland.
Western banks are implicated in the BTA scandal too, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse, ING and Morgan Stanley – all of whom poured in billions of dollars on the back of the former Soviet republic’s bounty of oil and gas deposits.
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