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Offices of Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel.kz searched

On April 2, offices of the Forbes Kazakhstan magazine and Ratel.kz portal were searched. Police officers arrived at approximately 12:30.

As the Forbes Kazakhstan publisher Armanzhan Baitasov said, two task forces of the Almaty Department of the Interior entered the offices. The first one started the search, the second one took away Editor-in-Chief Alexander Vorotilov. “We are asking questions to the people who are conducting investigative actions now. We can see them talking to someone on the phone. But they do not give us in the hands the search warrant citing some laws saying that we have no right to obtain the document. They said it is enough that they showed it to us to start the search. I did not see it. It was shown to our lawyer, but they prohibited to take picture of it,” Baitasov said.

The staff was told to sit in the cabinet while the search was conducted. Their mobile phones were seized. Reporter Vadim Boreiko informed on the search. “Documents and computers were seized in our office. To remind, Ratel and Forbes were connected in the investigation under a claim of Zeinulla Kakimzhanov. Recently, an article by Vorotilov about Zeinulla was translated into English and was published in Ratel. Probably, this is the reason of the search. Or maybe, the fact that Forbes wrote about blocking of Ratel,” he supposed. Later, it became known that Editor-in-Chief Marat Asipov, his deputy Sapa Mekebayev and staff writer Anna Kalashnikova were detained. The site of the portal is no operating now.

In early 2000s, Zeinulla Kakimzhanov was State Revenues Minister, Finance Minister, chair of the board of the Investment Fund of Kazakhstan. Since 2008, he has been head of the Altay Asset Management.

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