Ex-Kazakh president’s brother arrested for illicit crypto mining


On April 26, 2019, in Beijing, China, former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev makes a speech at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Bolat Nazarbayev, the brother of former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, was one of 106 illicit cryptocurrency miners shut down in the current round of official inspections, the Financial Monitoring Agency stated on Tuesday.

Kairat Itemgenov, owner of the Europharma drugstore network and the 17th wealthiest person in the country according to Forbes’ 2021 rankings, was also involved in illicit cryptocurrency mining operations.

55 illegal mining farms halted operations voluntarily, while 51 were shut down by police. Certain cryptocurrency miners were linked to power sources illegally or circumvented taxes and customs fees.

Kazakhstan overtook China as the world’s second-biggest producer of Bitcoin last year as miners fled China’s mining crackdowns, but unreliable power supply and government crackdowns are prompting a new migrant surge.

The banking regulator reported seizing over 67,000 pieces of mining equipment valued at more than US$190 million.

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