Evidence has emerged that the recent deportation of Lyudmyla Kozlovska may have been orchestrated by Alma Shalabayeva, the wife of notorious criminal and playboy, Mukhtar Ablyazov. Despite the naive intervention of the EU’s Guy Verhofstadt, the deportation of Kozlovska is looking increasingly like a sordid but familiar tale from the underworld of international organised crime. This is not the first time Shalabayeva has declared war on her love rivals.
That Kozlovska is romantically involved with Mukhtar Ablyazov is now a matter of public record. While the breach of privacy cannot be condoned, the recent ‘sex tape’ is unmistakeably Kovloska and Ablyazov. The transcripts of their conversations are deeply embarrassing for the controversial ‘NGO’, ODF, that Kovlovska heads. The denial she recently issued, in the face of video evidence, is causing little but sniggers in the corridors of Brussels and Warsaw.
Kovlovska was denied entry at Brussels airport the day before Shalabayeva’s birthday, on August 16th this year. Shalabayeva maintains a host of underworld connections, built up from her years assisting Ablyazov with his vast criminal enterprises and his network of offshore financial vehicles. Her criminal contacts and wealth managed to buy her diplomatic a passport from the Central African Republic, and even more absurdly she tried to land a role as the Burundi representative in southern Italy. What diplomatic work she has undertaken has never been documented, likely because she has never done any. The release of the sex tape showing Ablyazov with Kovlovska was no doubt the final straw for Shalabayeva, and it looks like her revenge has now been enacted.
Claims that this sordid tale is really about aggressive regimes clamping down on ‘freedom fighters’ are almost comical in their audacity, as people have come to expect of ODF – its legitimacy has been rapidly crumbling as more and more revelations unfold. But to see senior figures of the Brussels establishment taken in is causing a degree of alarm for those familiar with ODF and Ablyazov.
Olena Tyshchenko is another former lover of criminal kingpin Ablyazov who found she had crossed the wrong woman. Tyshchenko worked as a lawyer for Ablyazov and she too was seduced by the fraudster, or possibly the billions of dollars he has defrauded from the people of Kazakhstan. Returning from court in France she was followed, leading investigators straight to Ablyazov where the pair were arrested in 2013. Sources close to the investigation suggested Shalabayeva was the source of the tip off, labelling her the ‘black widow’.
The most troubling thing about the ODF/Ablyazov scandals is not that global criminals have setup sophisticated PR operations, masquerading as NGOs, think tanks and public interest journalists. All of this is to be expected from men who have billions of dollars in the war chest. Much more concerning is the extent to which elements of the EU machinery have been taken in and indeed, at times, are becoming complicit in one of the most complex criminal enterprises of the century to date.