Sophia Balakina and Kikbai Kosaev
Chairman of the board of directors of JV London-Almaty IC JSC:
“I positively regard all laws issued in our country if they are passed for the benefit of the whole society and our nation.
“As far as I understand we have to accept this law in connection with the next imperative stage, which is the necessity for Kazakhstan to join a number of international conventions on money laundering, transparency, disclosure and confiscation of revenue received from criminal activities, and to the UN convention against corruption.
“Against the background of the development of terrorism on a global scale, a need exists for all states to unite in the fight against these. To effectively fight, obviously it is necessary for all countries to adopt this [type of] law.
“If the law itself is carefully studied and examined, and its amended version adopted, this will not hinder those organization and individuals who have nothing to do with such crimes. Also, if this law does not simply play the role of the «stick», and everybody follows it – while the state authorities introduce measures allowing the effective elimination of the motives for such phenomena – my attitude to the adoption of such legislation is only positive.”
Co-chairman of the Democratic party of Kazakhstan, “True Ak Zhol”:
“No doubt, the issue of creating such a body is currently pressing. However the suggested type of organization brings up many questions. By definition, the Office of the General Prosecutor performing financial monitoring functions is not peculiar. From the point of ensuring more objectivity, passing these functions onto either the Ministry of Finance or to the National Bank [of Kazakhstan] would be much more logical and effective, in addition to obliging the newly-established office to regularly report to the public on its activity.
“A special concern brought up by the fact that the Office of the General Prosecutor already possesses hypertrophied powers that allow it to indiscriminately limit the rights and freedoms of citizens, including tapping and recording telephone conversations, violation of the secrecy of financial documents, mail, particularly electronic mail, and so on. Nevertheless, the draft law, as so often happens in recent years, suffers from the weakness of categorical instruments”
Financial director of Bank TuranAlem JSC (BTA):
“We understand the national importance of the fight against money laundering and financing terrorism, but in our opinion the introduction of the abovementioned law will most likely lead to worsening of the business climate. Any increase of government involvement within market activities results in imbalance. Besides, there exists the probability of non-market influence on the banks. As a whole, the establishment of such financial reconnaissance bodies will hinder the realization of the conceptualized Almaty Regional Financial Center, the entities of which should operate on terms that are close to laissez faire (less involvement by government) to the highest degree in order to make this project work.”
President of Kazakhstani Stock Exchange JSC (KASE):
“The fight against those financial activities used for money laundering of illegal funds (as well as for corruption) and for financing terrorism is a new and widely used practice in many countries worldwide. Therefore, Kazakhstan should not stand aside in such a struggle. Though, to be honest I cannot imagine that Kazakhstani citizens would finance terrorism. Fortunately, in our country, in contrast to many near and distant neighbors, there exists tolerance.
“I will not judge whether this financial investigative body should be under the Office of the General Prosecutor, some other state organ, or whether it should be completely independent. We would better turn to the best (the most effective) global practice.
“I believe the most important thing is that the work of the financial investigation organization does not hinder any business activities, or the functioning of the financial system, in which large payments potentially subject to financial monitoring comprise a significant share.”
Member of the Majilis (lower house of the Kazakhstani Parliament):
“In general, I doubt whether we need such a law. For what purposes have the authors prepared the draft law: to fight against illegal funds, money laundering, or for receiving additional authority for Office of the General Prosecutor? We are trying to define within the law what