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15 April 1953|
Patokh Chodiev (Russian: Фа́ттох Каюмович Шо́диев; Fáttoh Kayúmovich Shódiev; born 15 April 1953, in Jizzakh (Uzbek SSR), is a London-based Uzbek oligarch with Belgian citizenship who, with Alexander Mashkevich and Alijan Ibragimov, is part of the "Trio," a group of Central Asian businessmen who made their fortune through deals in minerals, oil, gas, and banking in Kazakhstan. Chodiev is currently ranked #275 on the Forbes list of billionaires.
Patokh Chodiev was born in Uzbekistan. He studied international law and Japanese at the Moscow State Institute of International Affairs (MGIMO), graduating with a doctorate in political science. Speaking Japanese fluently, he joined the diplomatic service specializing in Russian-Japanese commercial relations and subsequently lived in Tokyo for a few years.
In September 2017, the Chodiev Foundation registered a representative office in Uzbekistan, in order to provide humanitarian assistance and healthcare to orphanages in the country. Reports also stated that Chodiev plans to build several shopping malls as well as a metallurgical plant in Tashkent as part of an investment push into Uzbekistan.
On 27 June 1997 Patokh Chodiev acquired Belgian citizenship. This led to a debate in the media about how his naturalization was obtained, since Chodiev does not speak any of the three official languages of Belgium (Dutch, French or German) fluently. Furthermore, the Belgian State Security Service expressed concerns about Chodiev’s relations to other Russian businessmen, but eventually found "nothing to report."
Patokh Chodiev was also accused of having received help in this matter from the mayor of Waterloo, Serge Kubla. His Belgian naturalization was finally the subject of an official inquiry in January 2017, about which the Belgian newspaper Le Soir wrote on 11 January 2017: “When Serge Kubla wrote to Claude Eerdekens on 16 May 1997, all the lights were already green for Chodiev: he had the support of the SPF Justice, the State Security Service, the Aliens Department, the Waterloo police and the Public Prosecutor's Office, and therefore also that of the naturalization service.” On March 8, 2017, Serge Kubla assured “under oath" not to have intervened on Chodiev’s behalf. Chief investigator of the case, Jean-François Kayser, stated that “there is no evidence of Mr. Kubla's physical intervention with Mr. Vandewalle”, referring to the Chief Commissioner of the Waterloo police.
A parliamentary commission of inquiry concluded unanimously on 30 April 2018 that Chodiev’s naturalization procedures had not been influenced by Serge Kubla. The commission also cleared Chodiev of any involvement in the passing of the penal transaction law. Chodiev’s lawyer has accused the commission of having been biased against Chodiev. However, through his lawyer, Chodiev said he is willing to drop a formal complaint against several commission members on the condition that he receive a letter from a representative of the Belgian authorities admitting that the commission had operated inappropriately, subjected Chodiev to “slander”, and acknowledging the negative impact of the investigation on Chodiev and his family.
In 1999, the energy company Tractebel lodged a complaint against two of its employees, accusing them of embezzling part of the $55 million in consulting fees paid by Tractebel to Patokh Chodiev and his two associates. Separate to this case, the three partners were under investigation in Belgium on suspicions of forgery and money laundering, but the Brussels public prosecutor dropped any proceedings on June 17, 2011, within the framework of the extension to the criminal transaction law. As such the three paid a lump sum settlement of 522,500 euros. A representative of the Brussels prosecutor’s office confirmed to the Financial Times in August 2011 that no legal case against Chodiev and his associates had been active since June that year and that the case was considered settled. According to the representative, no judgement had been made against Chodiev, Mashkevich and Ibragimov who “are therefore presumed innocent."
Together with Alexander Mashkevich and Alijan Ibragimov, Chodiev runs various ventures in the minerals sector in Kazakhstan, Africa and Brazil. In 2007, their enterprise was floated on the London Stock Exchange and became part of the FTSE 100 in 2008. In 2009, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), one of the world's leading natural resource companies, of which Chodiev is a major shareholder, generated a profit of $1.462 billion from a turnover of $3.8 billion. Based in London, ENRC exploited a number of mineral deposits in Kazakhstan and Africa after acquiring numerous mining operations in Eastern Europe and Africa. In November 2013, the company was renamed "Eurasian Resources Group" (ERG) and is registered in Luxembourg as a company specializing in natural resources. In 2017, ERG posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2 billion, and received an improved credit rating by international rating agency Standard and Poor’s from B- to B on 29 June 2018, following a "positive outlook" for the metals market.
Forbes ranking of the richest people in the world
- 2005 (first appearance in Forbes): nr. 620, $1 bil.
- 2006: nr. 382, $2.0 bil.
- 2007: nr. 538, $1.9 bil.
- 2008: nr. 334, $3.3 bil.
- 2009: nr. 601, $1.2 bil.
- 2010: nr. 287, $3.3 bil.
- (in French)"Chodiev, Patokh, né à Jizak (Ouzbékistan) (Russie) le 15 avril 1953" in Ministère de la Justice, Loi accordant les naturalisations Archived 4 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine., Belgian Official Journal, 25 June 1997
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- Sittard hired at the Wayback Machine (archived 4 June 2011)
- Trio’s ENRC seeks IPO
- Forbes magazine on Trio