Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-101
Kazakhstan Oil Mining / James Giffen - Mercator Corporation (Switzerland)
Kazakhstan
Unnamed senior officials ("KO-1," "KO-2," and "KO-3")
Switzerland
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2003
Ongoing
Art.16, Art.23
Yes
Other (Memorandum of Understanding)
Other
Memorandum of Understanding
Memorandum of Understanding by Kazakhstan, Switzerland and the United States; World Bank signed a Service Agreement to assist in the establishment of the BOTA Foundation and implement the BOTA Program. The Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan pays a fixed annual fee to the World Bank for the contracted Services; these payments are posted to government accounts and are not disclosed in the Foundation's special purpose financial statements. (Source: BOTA Foundation, Independent Auditor's Report and special financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2010.)
Completed
Assets Returned to Victim or Requesting Jurisdiction
Please see summary and US entry for amounts
Yes
The 2008 Amended Memorandum of Understanding among the Governments of Kazakhstan, Switzerland and the United States provided that the recovered assets would be used to establish a social welfare foundation in Kazakhstan, the Bota Foundation. The Foundation is being overseen by the World Bank.

See also US entry.  Pursuant to an Amended Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2008 by the Governments of Kazakhstan, Switzerland and the United States, $84 million were to be returned to Kazakhstan. The funds were to be used to establish the BOTA Foundation, with its operations overseen by the World Bank.  (Source: Amended Memorandum of Understanding by the Swiss Confederation, United States and the Republic of Kazakhstan (May 2008).  According to the BOTA Foundation Independent Auditor's Report and special financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2013, the BOTA Program is funded with US$ 115 million (principal and interest) held on account No. T-94025 with Pictet and Cie in Switzerland in the name of the Treasury of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan.  The Foundation subsequently announced that it had completed its mission and ceased operations.  (Source:  BOTA Foundation Final Summative Report, February 12, 2015, at https://www.irex.org/sites/default/files/BOTA%20Summative%20Report%20FIN....)  

Unknown as to Unnamed Senior Officials 1-3. According to the Judgment in a Criminal Case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mercator Corporation pleaded guilty to one count violation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and was fined $32,000, which it satisfied on November 30, 2010. (Sources: US v. Mercator Corporation, Case No. 1:03-cr-00404-WHP (S.D.N.Y.), Judgment in a Criminal Case filed on November 23, 2010 and Satisfaction of Judgment filed on December 9, 2010.) According to the Judgment in a Criminal Case filed in US v. James Giffen in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mr. Giffen pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to supply information regarding foreign bank accounts and sentenced to time served. (Source: US v. Giffen, Case No. 1:03-cr-00404-WHP (S.D.N.Y.), Judgment in a Criminal Case, filed on November 23, 2010.)

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