The son-in-law of the ex-president of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev and member of the board of directors of "Gazprom" Timur Kulibayev received millions of dollars in contracts for the construction of a gas pipeline from Central Asia to China.
The contracts for the supply of pipes for the gas pipeline were concluded with the Eurasian Pipeline Consortium (EPC) of the Russian businessman Alexander Karmanov. A scheme was invented, according to which EPC supplied steel to the plants of Russia (Pipe Metallurgical Company) and Ukraine, the steel of the Chinese Jiangsu Shagang bought at $935 per ton with a markup of up to $1.5 thousand per ton, and then itself bought the finished pipes from them.
To control the work of the scheme, Kulibayev's consultants suggested that his person become a shareholder of the EPC. In October 2012, an employee of the EPC wrote to Kulibayev's representatives that Karmanov agreed to this proposal. So a Kazakh businessman Murat Balapanov who became a minority shareholder of EPC in December 2012 with a share of 0.000001% took over as president of this company.
The contract with the Russian PMC (Pipe Metallurgical Company) provided for total costs of $200 million, so the profit from the deal for EPC was $75 million. However, it is assumed that most of this money was not intended for Karmanov's company but for Kulibayev. The profits from the steel markup passed through companies in Singapore and the UAE and settled on accounts controlled by Kulibayev. He intended 70% of the profit or $53 million from this transaction alone.
In total from 2008 to 2012 Karmanov's companies won contracts for the production of pipes for $370 million, and for $1.5 billion for trade in Kazakh oil and gas.
FT calls Timur Kulibayev one of the most influential people in Kazakhstan, he oversaw the state-owned companies of the republic which signed contracts for the construction of pipelines. Since 2011, Kulibayev has been a member of the Board of Directors of Gazprom. Little is known about Alexander Karmanov is that in the 1990s he was the owner of the Daydreams strip club. A former colleague of Karmanov who worked with him under contracts with Transneft described him as a "person who knows a huge number of people in the power structures." Karmanov also sponsored the St. Petersburg judo club, founded by Arkady Rotenberg.