State Racket Disguised as Gifts
25 April, 2013
State Racket Disguised as Gifts
Strange as it seems, in 2004-2007, over USD 6 million worth of real estate or movable property was handed by private business and individuals to Georgian state, while bigger part of population lives below the poverty level. Ex-administration described this sudden gush of charity on the part of Georgian citizens, as gifts. Legal experts call it the state racket. The outrageous property violations, practiced by the ruling National Movement within 2004-2007 across the country that bewildered the international community, is
available in figures after the power shift. USD 6 003 080-worth property was handed to the state and municipalities as a gift from the companies and private persons within 2004-2007; - Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia), a non-governmental watchdog, calculated based on the data of the Ministry of Economic and Sustainable Development of Georgia (MOED). The calculations were released on April 22, 2013. Part of this value was handed by state companies and municipalities. What made TI Georgia experts doubtful was that private companies and persons turned out in the list of the state benefactors too. The property volunteer hand-over transaction coincided with the rampant property violation cases deployed throughout Georgia when the state officials used to take owners of certain property to the notaries in the midnight where they all felt irresistible aspiration to gift the questioned property to the state. Sometimes a group of proprietors used to feel charitable one day and hour all simultaneously and gift transactions of tens of people were registered at one notary all under similar date and hour.
Ditrikh Muller, a legal expert and co-founder of Georgian Investments Group that has been closely monitoring the property-volunteer-hand-over process, assures the value of the property donated to the state within 2004-2007 was at least 10-fold higher than the disclosed USD 6 million. According to him, only value of shares seized by the state made GEL 6 million let alone other movable and immovable property and cash paid in the state budget through pleas of bargaining.
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