We worked with BBC News and Transparency International to reveal that members of Kazakhstan’s ruling elite were the subject of an “Unexplained Wealth Order” (UWO), a new UK policing tool campaigners hope will stem the flow of dirty money into housing.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) targeted three London properties worth £80 million, including a £30 million mansion on London’s “billionaires row” belonging to Nurali Aliyev, the grandson of Kazakhstan’s former president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The other two properties belonged Nurali’s mother, Kazakh Senate chair Dariga Nazarbayeva, the second most powerful politician in the country.

Nurali Aliyev

The properties were bought via companies in the Latin American tax havens of Panama, Anguilla, and Curaçao.

Using only public sources, it was established that Nurali and his wife Aida Aliyeva were the “occupiers” of the mansion, and a request by them at the High Court in London in March to prevent the press from reporting the mansion’s address was quashed for this reason.

But in a blow to the NCA, Dariga and Nurali won an appeal against the UWOs this month. A high court judge criticised investigators’ handling of the investigation. The NCA is appealing this ruling.

Posted by Christian Eriksson

Christian Eriksson was a consultant reporter at Finance Uncovered who has previously worked at Private Eye and the Sunday Times.