46 years old | Embezzlement of public funds and abuse of power

Born in 1970 in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, Anar Meshimbaeva is the former chairman of the Statistics Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan. After being accused of having embezzled two million euros of public funds, she fled over Turkey to the United Arab Emirates where she escaped justice for a long time. In 2013, she finally got extradited to Kazakhstan and is currently serving a seven-year prison charge.



Embezzlement and misuse of public funds


Anar Meshimbaeva graduated in economics from the Moscow State University in 1994. Between 1998 and 2007, she quickly moved up Kazakh public service’s hierarchy ladder. She held several top positions in different government agencies such as the Agency for Strategic Planning, the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning and the Institute of Economic Research, as well as leading positions within departments of the Presidential Administration. In 2007, her career picked as she became Chairman of the Statistics Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, giving her full power over the agency.


In October 2009, Meshimbaeva stood accused, along with two other senior executives, of stealing 764.8 million tenge (€2.03 million) of funds set aside for that year’s population census[1]. This led to her resignation and escape to Antalya, Turkey. She was charged in absentia with theft of government funds allocated for the 2009 census and abuse of power in the procurement of air conditioners for server hardware, which caused damage to the State worth 3.5 million tenge[2].


Attempts to flee before arrest


Being on the run, Anar Meshimbaeva escaped justice until 2012, the year Interfax reported that she had been found in the United Arab Emirates, shortly before an extradition treaty between Kazakhstan and the UAE was due to be signed[3]. Despite the signing of the agreement, she was successful in escaping under circumstances that remain unclear until today. However, on the 6 February 2013 she was arrested by Russian authorities. Five days later, the General Office of the Public Prosecutor of Kazakhstan requested Meshimbaeva’s extradition to the Russian Federation’s Prosecutor’s Office. The request was approved on 6 June[4].


Condemnation in Kazakhstan


After being handed over to Kazakhstan on 7 September 2013, she was transferred to the Kazakh prosecutor’s office on 10 October, following the completion of an investigation by the Financial Police Agency[5]. On 4 December, the Second District Court of Astana opened a trial against Meshimbaeva[6], in which she pleaded not guilty[7]. Eventually, on 14 February 2014 a District Court of Astana[8] sentenced her to 7 years in prison with confiscation of property and deprivation of the right to hold public office for 5 years, against which she appealed to no avail[9].


Russia - Kazakhstan





  • ·         Flees Kazakhstan after accusations.
  • ·         Charged for embezzlement.
  • ·         Ends up on Interpol’s internationally wanted fugitives list.


  • ·         Reportedly seen in UAE.
  • ·         Kazakhstan signs extradition treaty with UAE.


  • ·         6 February: Detained by Russia
  • ·         7 September: Russia extradites Meshimbaeva
  • ·         11 February: Kazakhstan requests extradition.
  • ·         10 October: Meshimbaeva transferred to prosecutor’s office.
  • ·         4 December: Trials starts. Meshimbaeva pleads not guilty.


  • ·         14 February: Meshimbaeva is sentenced to 7 years, confiscation of property and deprivation of the right to hold public office for 5 years.
  • ·         She appeals the sentence, to no avail.