09ASTANA367, KAZAKHSTAN: NEW CHAIRMAN APPOINTED TO HEAD DRUG

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA367 2009-02-27 09:47 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4712
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0367/01 0580947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270947Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4769
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1271
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0656
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1359
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0351
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0832
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0748
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1269

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000367 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE, SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PINR SNAR KCRM KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  NEW CHAIRMAN APPOINTED TO HEAD DRUG 
COMMITTEE, OLD CHAIRMAN RESIGNS IN WAKE OF SCANDAL 
 
ASTANA 00000367  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Colonel Zhanat Suleimenov was appointed Chairman 
of the Committee on Combating Drugs on February 25.  Colonel Askar 
Isagaliyev, the previous chairman, resigned in early February, in a 
suspected attempt to avoid being fired for his involvement in a 
contracting scandal.  END SUMMARY. 
 
NEW CHAIRMAN 
 
3. (U) On February 25, Colonel Zhanat Suleimenov was appointed 
Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drug Trafficking and 
Controlling the Circulation of Narcotics of the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs (MVD).  Suleimenov had been the First Deputy Head of the 
Police Department of Pavlodar Oblast since December 2004. 
 
4. (U) Suleimenov graduated from the Karaganda MVD Police School in 
1984 and spent his early career as an operations officer.  From 2001 
to 2002, Suleimenov headed the Center for Interagency Cooperation 
and Joint Operations in the Fight against Drug Trafficking of the 
MVD's Department on Combating Drug Trafficking (the predecessor to 
the Committee on Combating Drugs), and later he became head of the 
whole Department.  During 2003-04, he was the Deputy Director of the 
MVD's Criminal Police Department (the predecessor to the Criminal 
Police Committee). 
 
PREVIOUS CHAIRMAN'S SCANDALOUS DEPARTURE 
 
5. (SBU) When Askar Isagaliyev was appointed Chairman of the 
Committee on Combating Drugs in August 2008, there was speculation 
his tenure would be short-lived and he would soon be fired due to a 
scandal surrounding a construction contract. 
 
6. (SBU) In January 2005, the Committee on Combating Drugs launched 
a project to build internal narcotics checkpoints on six main routes 
throughout the country, in order to interdict narco-traffickers. 
(NOTE:  INL provided equipment and built an inspection hangar at one 
of the checkpoints, outside of Almaty oblast.  INL and UNODC, the 
implementing partner, conducted an assessment of the checkpoints 
with an international expert.  END NOTE.) 
 
7. (SBU) In March 26, Aidar Kurylys Consulting was awarded a 
contract by a committee chaired by Isagaliyev, who at that time was 
Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drugs.  The company 
was to be paid 78.5 million tenge (about $650,000 at the time) to 
act as the general contractor for the construction of the six 
checkpoints.  The contract required the company to submit design and 
budget estimates by June 2006 and complete construction by August 
2006.  Almost half of the projected budget (37 million tenge) was 
paid to the company before work was started.  The company announced 
that it had completed the project in November 2006.  However, 
independent experts conducted an assessment of one of the posts in 
December 2006, and found that the quality of the construction was 
poor.  The Committee on Combating Drugs refused to pay the balance 
owed to the company.  In April 2007, the MVD office in Akmolinsk 
Oblast reported to General Nukenov, who was Chairman of the 
Committee until June 2008, that the inspection hangar constructed at 
Arasan was unusable and could not even be rebuilt. 
 
8. (SBU) The Ministry of Finance took the case before the Special 
Economic Court in Astana, seeking to annul the contract.  It was 
later learned that Aidar Kurylys Consulting did not have a license 
for the implementation of this type of construction project.  In 
December 2007, the court declared the contract invalid.   However, 
Aidar Kurylys Consulting then filed a suit against the Committee 
demanding payment of the 41 million tenge balance owed under the 
contract, plus punitive damages.  The Committee filed a counter-suit 
against the company demanding the return of 37 million tenge already 
paid out.  General Nukenov ordered Lieutenant Colonel Yergali 
Aliaskar, an attorney for the Committee on Combating Drugs, to 
represent the Committee in the matter. 
 
9.  (SBU) In May 2008, on the grounds that Isagaliyev had signed off 
on the completion of the project, the court ordered the Committee to 
pay the remaining balanced owed under the contract, plus 44.5 
million tenge in punitive damages and additional fees.  One month 
 
ASTANA 00000367  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
later, the parties entered into an agreement for the Committee to 

pay 40.5 million tenge by October 15, 2008. 
 
10.  (SBU) After Isagaliyev became Chairman of the Committee in 
August 2008, he confronted Yergali Aliaskar about losing the case to 
the construction company and accused him of incompetence.  Allegedly 
feeling threatened, Aliaskar resigned and took with him the original 
documents related to the agreement between the Committee and Aidar 
Kurylys Consulting.  Aliaskar wrote to the Procurator General's 
Office, Financial Police, and the ruling Nur Otan party to explain 
the situation.  The MVD's Department of Internal Security contacted 
Aliaskar to demand the return of all original documents to Chairman 
Issagaliev.  Aliaskar is currently in hiding. 
 
11. (U) The INL-funded assessment report of the UN expert in 
December 2007, the visit of Post to checkpoints, and recent new 
photos confirms that no post, other than the one supported by INL, 
has appropriate administrative buildings or inspection hangars. 
 
12. (SBU) COMMENT:  Newly-appointed Committee Chairman Suleimenov 
previously conducted organizational and analytical work in the 
counternarcotics area and has managed canine work. Post believes 
that he is well suited to develop a clear strategy for improving 
counter-narcotics efforts.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

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