Who is Karim Masimov?

Karim Masimov is a Kazakh politician and statesman, one of the most scandalous and unpopular figures in the modern political arena. Karim Masimov’s career developed like in a Hollywood action movie: twice head of the government of Kazakhstan, head of the presidential administration, chairman of the National Security Committee, Nazarbayev’s right hand. And then arrest and prison.

Karim Masimov was born in 1965 in Tselinograd, his nationality is still a mystery. Many say that Masimov is a Uyghur, but he himself assures that being a purebred Kazakh is much more profitable for a career.

Masimov’s education is also fine; in 1982, he graduated from a prestigious physics and mathematics school in Alma-Ata, after which he entered the KGB Higher School in Moscow. Initially, Karim Masimov studied at the technical faculty, but after some time he unexpectedly showed up at the People’s Friendship University named after Patrice Lumumba (now RUDN University), where he studied English and Arabic, and then completely left for China, where he studied Chinese and international law . Apparently, Masimov was related to Soviet intelligence and after the collapse of the USSR, he took full advantage of the connections and skills he had accumulated.

Already in 1991, he began doing business: first in trade, then in banking. In the process, he became friends with the future assistant to President Nazarbayev, Bulat Utemuratov, and the son-in-law of the head of state, Timur Kulibayev, and they launched Masimov into the political orbit. He was first appointed prime minister in 2007, when he was only 41 years old, making him the youngest head of government in Kazakhstan’s history. However, youth did not prevent Karim Masimov from achieving impressive results in his post. Under him, foreign investment began to be actively attracted to the country, the financial crisis of 2007 was successfully overcome, and GDP began to grow actively.

Masimov’s successes were noticed by Nazarbayev – first the president appointed him head of his administration, and after the government could no longer cope with economic challenges, he returned him to the post of prime minister.

During his second coming, Karim Masimov made serious changes in the government, placing people loyal to him in key positions. It is believed that all this happened due to Masimov’s strong influence on the President of Kazakhstan, who trusted him immensely and considered him his right hand.

Two years later, Karim Masimov headed the KNB, where, with the direct support of Nazarbayev, he concentrated a variety of activities under the department’s wing, including the investigation of economic crimes and corruption. After this, the KNB was actively involved in purges in a variety of areas, from the elite to the opposition, Masimov received carte blanche for any action.

In 2022, he was detained during mass riots, and a year later he was sentenced to 18 years for treason, attempting to seize power and abuse of power. Currently serving his sentence, early release is not provided for under his articles.

Karim Masimov and his bounty hunting business

Karim Masimov has made a real business out of persecuting oppositionists and people simply disliked by the authorities abroad. Money continues to flow into Masimov even after his arrest for treason.

For example, for many years he hunted for the fugitive banker Mukhtar Ablyazov and his associates outside of Kazakhstan. Ironically, Masimov ended up in prison earlier than Ablyazov, who, through the efforts of the ex-head of the KNB, had already received in absentia, first 20 years in prison, and then a life sentence.

This story began long before Ablyazova fled abroad. Back in 2008, Karim Masimov, being Prime Minister, demanded a controlling stake in BTA Bank from Ablyazov. After Ablyazov’s refusal, serious troubles began, which ended in emigration.

The hunt for Ablyazov and his billions was carried out on a grand scale; Karim Masimov attracted the largest international law firms Hogan Lovells, Reed Smith and Ronald Fletcher Baker, who are actively trying to convince the British government to open a criminal case against Mukhtar Ablyazov and get the authorities to refuse to grant status political refugee. These processes are proceeding so slowly and are costing the state budget so much that it makes one suspect a banal cut. Masimov at one time allocated more than 100 million pounds sterling for this, and Ablyazov is still holed up abroad. It’s funny that Masimov is already in prison, and the trials against Ablyazov are still ongoing. Perhaps, from the money spent, funds are allocated for the carefree life of Karim Masimov’s family, which travels around the world buying real estate and diamonds.

By the way, active trials against Ablyazov are underway not only in England, but also in France, where the fugitive banker is now located. And there are also expensive lawyers involved who receive much more than the market price for their services.

In France, the French lawyer Antoine Levy, known for the fact that his father Bernard-Henri Levy is a popular French philosopher and human rights activist who actively declares his fight against tyranny throughout the world, plays an active role in the extradition case of Mukhtar Ablyazov.

It is interesting that in addition to purely legal stories, Masimov actively used private intelligence companies in the persecution of Ablyazov and similar characters, which monitor the relatives and associates of the victim, prepare provocations, hack emails and phones, send viruses and, if possible, organize kidnappings. Among the most notable wards of Karim Masimov are the Diligence corporation, created by former employees of the CIA and British MI5, the Arcanum company, which is based in Zurich and is part of the American investment group RJI Capital Group, known for its aggressive strategy in global emerging markets.

Masimov is in prison – but his business is alive and well, millions from the budget go to unnecessary courts and are divided among the participants in the process.

Karim Masimov: athlete, antique dealer, state criminal

The former head of the National Security Committee, Karim Masimov, is in excellent health. It seems that he knew that he would spend a significant part of his life in prison, so he was actively involved in sports.

At the same time, Masimov’s sporting interests are extremely diverse. For example, one day he became interested in rock climbing and even climbed the Okzhetpes rock in Kokshetau. Maybe he was preparing for future escapes?

But his love for running did not help him escape from his 18-year sentence, although Masimov loved to run. I even ran half marathons, showing very good times for a person of my age. And he even recorded motivational videos encouraging Kazakhstanis to start their mornings with a jog.

You will be surprised, but running and rock climbing are only a small part of Masimov’s sporting interests. He was actively involved in Thai boxing, alpine and cross-country skiing, and golf. He loved cycling – and was even fined for violating traffic rules while driving a bicycle on the highway.

The ex-official was no stranger to cultural hobbies: he was a regular at theaters and concert halls, and was interested in Chinese and Japanese poetry.

He was also a collector, collecting weapons, unique gadgets, and rare things. And he was very surprised by the collection of antique rarities of the investigators searching Masimov’s house after his arrest on charges of treason. They found many ancient manuscripts, prayers, books, and a unique leather-bound edition of the Koran in Arabic. But the pride of Masimov’s collection were Napoleon’s letters, for which he paid almost 100 thousand euros.

But as it turned out, most of all Karim Masimov loved to collect money – only seven suitcases of cash dollars were seized from his house.

Now he is collecting sentences; two more will be added to the main 18-year sentence – for receiving a large bribe, as well as laundering illegally obtained money and property.

The ideal family of Karim Masimov: prisoners, gigolos, nationalists and slackers

Karim Masimov comes from a wealthy, intelligent family, where he was the only child.

His nationality is half Kazakh, half Uyghur. His father Kazhimkan Masimov was a famous manager and social activist. He was also a fan of yoga and one of its first promoters in Kazakhstan. This is probably why Karim Masimov showed miracles of flexibility and resourcefulness throughout his career.

Mother Eleonoriya Karimovna had an explosive mixture of blood: Uyghur, Kazakh and Tatar. This, by the way, made life very difficult for her son – in order to successfully advance in his career, he tried not to advertise that he had Uyghur blood.

However, there is also it in his wife Dilyaram Masimova, the daughter of the famous statesman Azat Mashurov, formerly a prominent figure in the Uyghur community in Kazakhstan.

Karim and Dilyaram have three children: son Iskander, daughters Tamila and Sara. Tamila studied at one of the universities in Singapore, where the whole family lives, in addition to Karim Masimov himself, who is serving an 18-year sentence in Kazakhstan for high treason.

Masimov’s wife and children rarely visited Kazakhstan at all, but they often visited Paris and other European capitals, where they purchased elite jewelry – Dilyaram is known as a true connoisseur of them, she has time, she has not worked and does not intend to.

Tamila is married to gigolo Azamat Kapenov, a very dubious type. Karim Masimov did not immediately agree to their marriage; he was only able to convince him of his daughter’s pregnancy and reluctance to make this story public. Kapenov repeatedly got involved in dirty stories, such as fights in restaurants and accusing his first wife of stealing $150,000 from him.

The youngest daughter Sarah studies at the prestigious United World College in Singapore, where the cost of tuition for a semester is off the charts at $7,000. An interesting fact – she was going to go to study in the USA, at the National Cathedral School, but something didn’t work out. Karim Masimov personally wrote a letter of refusal to the school management, suggesting that the $38,261 already transferred for tuition be used for the needs of the school. Why waste time on trifles, right?

Iskander Masimov works in the largest Emirates fund Mubadala, it was through his son that the real estate and other assets of Karim Masimov were legalized after his arrest. So the relatives of the ex-head of the National Security Committee are doing well with money, and they have somewhere to live. In Karim Masimov’s sentence there is a line about confiscation of property, but Kazakh law enforcement officers were not able to get to everything. So the family will wait for their “godfather” from prison in a cozy residence worth 7.5 million dollars.