Reporting by Guy Adams for The Daily Mail
Kenes Rakishev’s relationship with Hunter Biden was revealed in emails the Daily Mail received last week amid a worsening scandal over Jäger’s overseas business dealings.
The mail revealed that Hunter worked between 2012 and 2014 as a sort of broker for Rakishev, a self-proclaimed “international businessman, investor and entrepreneur” with close family ties to the kleptocratic regime of despotic former President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his homeland.
In the UK, Rakishev is perhaps best known for a bizarre episode in 2008 when he helped a colleague oligarch named Timur Kulibayev use a British Virgin Islands registered company to buy a home from Prince Andrew: his Windsor mansion, Sunninghill Park, that oddly enough it was about £ 15 million, about £ 3 million above asking price.
In coverage of the episode, it was noted that Kulibayev was the son-in-law of the aforementioned despot Nazarbayev, who ruled Kazakhstan for more than two decades and made it one of the most corrupt kleptocracies in the world.
For his part, Rakishev is married to the daughter of a former mayor of the country’s capital (recently renamed Nursultan after the older despot) who later served as defense minister and deputy prime minister.
The mail revealed that between 2012 and 2014 Hunter worked as a sort of broker for Rakishev (pictured), a self-proclaimed “international businessman, investor and entrepreneur” with close family ties to the kleptocratic regime of the despotic former president of his homeland, Nursultan Nazarbayev
Fast forward to 2012 and Rakishev had just been included in Forbes magazine’s top 15 list of “Influential” tycoons in Kazakhstan with an estimated fortune of around $ 332 million. Like many a wealthy oligarch, Rakishev was now looking for a safe parking space, so he had come to America to look for new places to invest his hard-earned rubles.
Unfortunately it didn’t go very smoothly. Because in the highly regulated world of western capitalism, Rakishev discovered that blue-chip investment partners were often reluctant to take his money.
Accuse? The fact that no one was quite sure where their wealth actually came from.
For example, the email’s leaked emails reveal that International Finance Corporation, a highly respected sister organization of the World Bank, had preliminary discussions with Rakishev about a business deal before deciding to withdraw.
The IFC then politely informed the oligarch that they “cannot invest in him” because their “very thorough due diligence processes” revealed that he had some “connections” involving the “President’s family” that “represent a liability to us”.
Rakishev appeared indignant and replied that he would make sure that the organization “never works with anyone in Kazakhstan”.
The US Department of Justice then took an interest in Rakishev. It soon drew him into an investigation into possible violations of the Foreign Corruption Practices Act in connection with “an investment in the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan”.
Although Rakishev immediately denied any wrongdoing and was never charged, in September 2013 he decided to hire a notoriously expensive US law firm called Greenberg Traurig to handle the probe-related fire.
It appears that two lawyers who ran a team handling the Kazakhstan case, John Pappalardo and Stanford Saunders, charged him on the order of $ 1,000 and $ 700 an hour, respectively.
It was undoubtedly a very annoying (and expensive) business; Not to mention the frustration for a man who may have gotten used to finding his own way. Perhaps that led him to meet with Hunter Biden, a member of one of America’s most powerful political dynasties.
In May 2012, he was notified by email by Hunter’s business partner Devon Archer, a lawyer and former Abercrombie & Fitch model. “Can you have dinner with me, Hunter Biden, Alex? [Forbes Kerry] and team on Wednesday next week in NYC? I want to let Hunter know when to come from DC to see you on Wednesday. I look forward to seeing you! ‘
Rakishev replied, ‘Hello Devon! I would love to have dinner with you and all of our friends! Thank you for invitations! Take care my brother! ‚
By July, Hunter had traveled to Astana to discuss business opportunities. “I wanted to get in touch with you and see what our next steps are to continue our visit to Kazakhstan,” he wrote in an email to Rakishev that was sent shortly afterwards. “Let me know if you need anything from me.”
Three months later, Biden helped Rakishev lead discussions about investing in Prospect Global Resources, a potash mining company based in eastern Arizona.
Although the e-mails the Mail saw show that the conversations finally broke down, he remained friendly: “I wanted to contact you again and continue our conversations,” Hunter wrote to Kulibayev on November 25, 2012.
“I understand you and Timur were evaluating PGRX, but it wasn’t a good fit at the time. Thank you for your look and the quick feedback. Let me know when you’d like to connect. ‚
The duo stayed in close contact throughout the following year, discussing a number of business ventures.
In late October 2013, Biden’s partner Archer arranged a conference call between Rakishev and the aforementioned Alex Forbes Kerry, who had been trying to raise money to start a film production company.
Immediately after the call in December, Rakishev sent an email with good news: “Thank you, my brother from another mother! Thank you very much my brother! We have decided to invest 1 million [million]! Give them my email! ‚
Forbes Kerry, who never publicly acknowledged her guilt to Rakishev, closed the deal in January 2014. The following month, she and Biden met Rakishev for dinner in Washington DC.
“It was a pleasure meeting you with Devon and Hunter the other day,” she emailed him afterward. “I would like to thank you for the beautiful watch! I’m sorry I didn’t open it at the table. I got it wrong and thought it was a baby gift so I only opened it when I was home. It’s absolutely beautiful and you are so generous. . . Please come to New York soon and bring your family with you. We will host you and your team. ‚
Rakishev replied that he intended to accept this offer in September. ,Let us stay in contact!’ he wrote.
Unfortunately, at the time of this happy exchange, Biden’s marriage was about to collapse. Things culminated in a spectacularly hostile divorce in which his wife, Kathleen, claimed he had been ‘extravagantly spending on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women he has sexual relations with) while he left the family with no money to pay legitimate bills’.
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