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Kazakhstan: Corruption revelations of the Minister Mamytbekov PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 March 2012 09:26

Новость на Казах-зерно:So, it finally came true: corruption scheme designed around the handling of grain in the JSC "Ak biday Terminal", has become a subject of study of law enforcement agencies. We have reason to believe that the attention to the outrages perpetrated there was drawn not without our efforts, and we will continue performance of a public debt on informing of all interested concerned citizens and government institutions about the facts of parasitism of public officials on state ownership.

A fatter goose

The process of checking the activities of a feeding pan of high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan is still in the very beginning. Namely: on February 15, 2012 Methodical council of Agency of the Republic for competition protection supports decisions on carrying out of investigations on the grounds of violations of the antimonopoly legislation concerning JSC "Ak biday Terminal" for abuse of dominant position in terms of unjustified refusal to conclude agreements on handling of grain to individual consumers, in the presence of such a possibility.

"As a result of these investigations, in case of acknowledgement of the specified violations of the antimonopoly legislation, corresponding measures of antimonopoly reaction (penal sanctions, regulations) will be taken concerning guilty persons”, the antimonopoly Agency describes the prospects of the  investigation.

It is possible to exult about it, but with several reservations:

First of all, we would like to hope that not only “switchmen” will come into the view of law enforcement agencies, but also the true inspirers, founders and and heads of that corruption scheme, which allowed officials to transform the state grain terminal into a personal fiefdom and to be engaged in own enrichment, instead of performance of the state problems on development and support of agrarian sector of Kazakhstan - strategically important for the country.

As we have established thanks to journalistic investigation on the example of LLC «Distressful grain», the results of which the newspaper "KazahZerno.kz" has presented in a number of the publications, all basic decisions concerning work of the grain terminal are accepted personally by the Minister of Agriculture of RK Asylzhan Mamytbekov, instead of a joint-stock company management "Ak biday Terminal" or "Prodcorporation". And he is fully responsible for it.

Secondly, of course, it is unacceptable that the civil servant, smirched the honour of a public official with such a dizzying cascade  of abuses, remained on the former place and continued to "supervise" the country's agriculture , which is due to him, any minute now, will breathe its last.

Thirdly, «penal sanctions and regulations» which are mentioned in the message of antimonopoly department, certainly - are good, but seriousness of committed acts draws on much more serious punishment. We hope that after antimonopoly agency the activity of pocket grain terminal of the minister will be also checked by other competent bodies too, including financial police. It is high time to catch a fatter goose.

Take the minister lukewarm

«Frank confession of Agriculture Minister of Kazakhstan:

I, Asylzhan Mamytbekov, admit that patronize a number of large grain companies of the country in the handling of grain through the JSC "Ak biday terminal" to the detriment of other market participants "…

You can say that such confession is our imagination, and actually we won't wait it, but it is true. Not later than in the end of February Asylzhan Mamytbekov gave the interview in which he frankly has confessed in all. We only have briefly formulated own recognitions of the Head of Agriculture Ministry of Kazakhstan. Let's quote the selected places from revelations of the official:

"Since 2009, we have increased the efficiency of terminals a few times and brought the annual handling up to 700 thousand tons, but, of course, there are those who bought up on 10 thousand tons of grain and told: «I will go and ship». If we give the chance to ship to such nonprofessionals in this business, we will have there less than 200,000 (tons of annual grain handling), "- the Minister said. This is exactly what we are talking about - the protection of major market participants to the detriment of others.

And despite all "logical" arguments in favor of protectionism brought now by Asylzhan Mamytbekov, the Law of the RK “On combating corruption” qualifies his actions unequivocally:

«Clause 12. Offenses, creating conditions for corruption and responsibility for them

A. Offenses, creating conditions for corruption, are the following acts of persons authorized to perform public functions or persons equated to them:

4) rendering of undue preference both to legal and physical persons in preparing and making decisions;

5) rendering to someone any assistance not provided by the legislation in realization of entrepreneurial and other activity connected with extraction of the income».

Stop, shot! Well, take the Minister lukewarm! Though he frankly confessed in all, that it is a reason for mitigation of punishment, and not for liberation from it.

Repentance of the naive villain

Новость на Казах-зерно:By the way, the interview of the minister mentioned by us contains many other interesting facts (and, many of them can be qualified as criminal. For example, the head of Agriculture Ministry of Kazakhstan protects the forwarding companies imposed by officials to all wishing to ship grain through "Ak biday terminal. Here is a quote fluttered out from lips of the minister:

"Forwarding Company - there is a major factor (lack of access for small suppliers) through which they can not get through. And I do not think this is wrong, this is correct, we should not allow all who wanted to be involved in that sector, even if this does not correspond to market rules. In theory - yes, we should give access, once it is a state port, but why it should not make money? "

There is one more confession of the Minister, made by him whether by natural naivety (if not to tell frankly - nonsense), whether due to ossified arrant disrespect for the laws.

How do you like: the official himself says that his duty as a public servant - to provide access to all market participants to the services of the terminal, but then he admits breaking the law, motivating it … with necessity to make money! Moreover, we will continue the thought the minister, that was stopped in the most interesting place - it's not about earning of the state, but of the private forwarding companies. Whom are these companies related to, we think, there is no need to explain ... We have already described the scheme of "unwinding" grain traders in the corrupt scheme of JSC "Ak biday terminal" a lot of times, and we will do it one more time to make it clear for everyone about what earnings tells the minister, and how cynical are these words of the official.

Thus, the circuit is very simple: "Ak biday Terminal" provides grain handling on a regular basis only for three - four companies. They appeared "in a cage" just at the moment when Asylzhan Mamytbekov became the head of "KazAgro". Other companies’ attempts to ship through the terminal are getting a refusal. The motivation for refusal is modest capacities, insufficient for shipment of all wishing to do it. But! If a trader asks for help some forwarding company (the officials are always happy to advise which one to choose), his grain will be eventually shipped. And the secret is that the forwarding company takes rather big money for their services. And they, unlike the fixed state tariffs, do not go the state budget, but settle in the right pockets.

So, then how should we judge the words of Asylzhan Mamytbekov that the state port needs to earn the money, if not like a confession?! Scientists have long known this psychological phenomenon - every criminal desires to confess his deeds. In other words the conscience gnaws from the inside, and the villain wants to repent, to get an internal relief.

So, perhaps, the authorities have to "accept" Asylzhan Mamytbekov with his repentance - for his own good, for the sake of his sanity?

Mamytbekovsk’s noodles

We continue to read an interview with the Minister and become more and more amazed. In addition to the confessions through corruption, there are also lots of simple human lies. It is in the character of bureaucrats – to hang noodles on the ears of journalists, giving out the words for truth. Perhaps, they will not check and will believe to the words of "honourable person" (that's right - in quotes)! But we all have already come through this together with LLC "Distressful grain", and they cannot pull a con game on us. Let's quote and comment on the minister's words.

How to ensure access to the terminal for all:

1)"The only way out is to expand the port and male it available for all. Otherwise, there will always be unhappy, but we try to make this process transparent. It depends not only on the Prodcorporation, because the process of shipping grain through the port of Aktau by itself is very complex. There is need in lots of other things, which are also a limiting factor. "

Pay attention to the words that officials are trying to make the process of shippment through the terminal transparent. Far from it! LLC "Distressful grain" was running from office to office in attempt to get the rules of how to get in turn for shipment during half a year. Traders were sent from receiving room of “Ak biday terminal” to receiving room of  “Proscorporation” and then back again. But they have not received the rules yet. What kind of transparency, said the minister, who and why is he trying to deceive?

2) «There is also a lack of ships, and consequently the terminal gives only to those, who has contract with a ship, because to bring and fill at once 23 thousand tons, and then to wait a vessel - is wrong. It is necessary to give the chance to ship only to those, who has already a contract with a vessel».

Новость на Казах-зерно:To say this means to touch traders on tenderest nerve. The fact is that no one asks about the shipment, without chartering the vessel in advance. And the worst thing is that "Ak biday terminal" sometime denies the company in handling the grain, when the vessel has been already chartered. We wrote about such a precedent which happened to LLC «Distressful grain": The firm chartered the ship, but got a refusal when the ship was already in the port. Accrual of penalties could bankrupt the company in case it failed to find another firm which send its goods by sea.

And this is not the only case. The representative of the trading company from Astana told us a similar story happened last year.

"In July last year, we received an order from our foreign partners to deliver a large consignment of barley by a railway to grain terminal. Our partners were expected to send it to Iran. Previously they had received a verbal assurance from the management of JSC "Ak biday terminal" that the shipment will be made on time. In September, our partners have chartered a ship; we brought the grain to the terminal. And at that very moment they got a refusal from terminal in grain handling! They were in a deadlock situation: after they had obligations owed to the recipient of the goods in Iran, and also owed to the ship owner. Attempts to achieve keeping of the promises from the management of terminal ended in nothing, as well as trips to the offices of "Prodcorporation". The situation was the following: In July the scale of harvest in Kazakhstan has not been clear yet, and the grain terminal has promised to provide handling. And in September, when all capacities were packed with loads of some of "their" companies, all "aliens" were denied. In addition to our partners in a similar situation were several other companies. They had no other choice but to send the barley by railway in Russia and to the ship to the  vessels there. And this, of course, increased transport costs several times. "

The trader told us their company and several others caught in similar corruption millstones, prepare materials for transfer to the antimonopoly Agency - to help with an ongoing investigation.

Summarizing the analysis of the interview with the Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan, we can express the belief that he could sit pretty in a life, even when losing his seat. The former head of the Ministry of Agriculture can easily open a factory for the production of noodles and to set up production of loosely spreading noodles under the brand name "Mamytbekovskaya." For this he has enough abilities.


Alimbek Gabitov

Newspaper «KazakhZerno.kz»

Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2012 11:30
 




 

 

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