British Prince Andrew received £4 million as a ‘kickback’ for assisting in organizing a £385 million deal through Kenes Rakishev.
This news, brought to light by the widely read Daily Mail in the UK, has stirred public opinion.
“A disgrace to the royal family,” said former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Norman Baker. And this is more than just a remark. It effectively mirrors the public sentiment towards the unfolding events.
But what exactly happened that could significantly shake the British throne? Nothing extraordinary, if viewed from the perspective of Kazakhstani practices. Two companies — Greek and Swiss — formed a consortium that decided to engage in the construction of water supply and sewage systems in Almaty and Astana. In the process, they sought consultation from Prince Andrew, who had already earned a reputation as a ‘Kazakhstan specialist.’ As a result, a commission for the prince was established for his consultation — one percent.
With approval granted, Prince Andrew sought support from Kazakh businessman Kenes Rakishev, who swiftly organized several meetings for the royal figure with the heads of Astana and Almaty. And £4 million found its way into the pockets of the royal figure.
In principle, there’s nothing particularly unusual about the close ties between the British prince and representatives of the Kazakhstani establishment. As far back as 2007, Kenes Rakishev purchased an abandoned mansion from Andrew, paying an exorbitant sum—around £15 million. However, at that time, no significant conclusions were drawn from this story.
The situation has now taken a different turn. If in 2007 all talk of inadequate valuation and hidden bribes largely remained opinions of journalists, this time, the Daily Mail’s asset became the correspondence between Prince Andrew and Kenes Rakishev. It reveals that this was not a mere coincidence but a genuine conspiracy — on one side, a member of the aristocratic family, on the other, a representative of the corrupt elite from Kazakhstan. In other words, a scandal erupted in the noble family, immediately picked up by other media. After all, the prince was caught red-handed.
What is especially humiliating is that representatives of Andrew attempted to distance themselves from direct questions from journalists. The issue is that they couldn’t even fathom that the correspondences in their possession left no room for any other interpretation. It turned into a genuine disgrace. It’s one thing to take money in Kazakhstan, and an entirely different matter to be caught in the act at home, next to Buckingham Palace.
[Excerpt from “MK-London,” 23.05.2016, “Royal Family Member Suspected of Involvement in Corruption Deal in Kazakhstan”: The facts mentioned in the investigation date back to 2011 when Prince Andrew held the position of the UK’s special representative for trade. A request for mediation was received from a Greek-Swiss consortium, and the deal was supposed to be facilitated through a relative of the then mayor of Astana […] Rakishev. The Duke of York had been acquainted with Rakishev since 2007 when he acted as a broker for the sale of the prince’s estate in Berkshire, selling it for three million pounds above the starting price to businessman Timur Kulibayev, the son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. As reported by The Daily Mail, Prince Andrew completed his mission, bringing together the interested parties and receiving the due compensation. However, the deal was later terminated: at the end of 2011, the Kazakh city of Zhanaozen experienced mass riots in which at least fifteen people were killed by the police, and EYDAP chose to withdraw from Kazakhstan to avoid damage to its international reputation.
The Buckingham Palace press office has already issued a denial, explaining that the materials from the journalistic investigation have been handed over to the legal representatives of the royal family: “The statement that the Duke of York had any financial interest in mediating in a deal between an international consortium and the Kazakh government is false, offensive, and violates the code of journalistic ethics.”