23 January, 2014
Arms smuggling schemes deciphered

PM Irakli Gharibashvili has divulged important information about ex-Minister of Defense Davit Kezerashvili: “As for illegal arms trade, very interesting scandalous information and facts are coming out about Kezerashvili. Not only are our law-enforcement agencies interested but respective foreign agencies are also looking into this.” Former political prisoner Vakhtang Maisaia spoke about arms smuggling in the previous issue of this newspaper. Now Maisaia elaborates on schemes by which he thinks arms were smuggled abroad.
V.M. –
In the indictment brought against me (given to me by a representative of the Counter Intelligence Department when I was still in prison) it is specifically written: “The information sent by Maisaia contains reconnaissance, counter reconnaissance plans and reports of operational-technical activity; import to Georgia and export abroad of arms, ammunition, military equipment; financing of these operations.” A panel of judges of the appeals court discussed my case and made an extraordinary decision to destroy my personal laptop and USB flash drive, that is, “the classified” material evidence that is to be kept for at least 20 years. I have substantial doubt that all the stuff was copied, and some former high-ranking officials sold it to the present authorities. The Prosecutor’s Office seems to know some details of arms smuggling, and this increases my doubt.
Q. – Could you specify conclusions of your analysis and connection with the Kezerashvili’s case?
A. – One month prior to the 2008 war, arms manufactured in Belarus arrived to Georgia. It was 5 units of gtc-100 (It’s a power plant used for eavesdropping as well as for radio-electronic reconnaissance. It’s a specific type of armament). One could find an explanation if the Ministry of Defense bought Russian Kalashnikovs in Belorussia, but bringing in this type of Russian armament when the tension of Russian-Georgian relations reached its peak gives rise to serious doubt. Five units of gtc-100 were delivered by Bell Trading Consulting LTD based in an offshore zone on the Seychelles Islands. Now foreign partners of our country argue to Georgia’s former authorities that the above mentioned company could be connected with Davit Kezerashvili. Anyway, this type of armament couldn’t be delivered without Victor Sheiman.
Vano Merabishvili in person (more than once) met with Victor Sheiman in Belarus. The latter was Lukashenko’s right hand – as you already know he supervised the Belorussian KGB and was known as the Black Dealer of illegal arms. An American analytical center set up by former intelligence officers indicates directly that Sheiman, as well as Victor But, were involved in the illegal arms business, and he is a close friend of Igor Sechin, representative of the Russian top brass. Thus, for the US, the whole scheme - connection of Saakashvili’s authorities with Victor But and his accomplices (Sheiman, Sechin, Patrushev) - is already deciphered. The destination of flights made by But’s transportation companies were: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi, Burgas and Belgium. Other destinations were: Belarus, Ukraine, Burgas, and Africa as well as Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Lebanon. Thus, Georgia was also included in the But’s sphere of interest. He needed Georgia as the shortest corridor to Burgas in order to take goods from Afghanistan to the West and then to the USA. For this reason, But connected with the former authorities of Georgia.
It is to be noted that at that time the now-deceased Zurab Zhvania was against selling the Poti port and Tbilisi airport. I declare and emphasize this: Zhvania was assassinated in connection with the privatization of Poti port and Tbilisi airport because the former Prime Minister personally opposed Temur Alasania’s interests. Let’s not forget that it was the period when But’s company and the Russian arms market reached its zenith. Russia’s annual income (officially) from the arms business went from USD10 billion up to USD 15 billion. In parallel with this Russian officials controlled the illegal arms business as well.
Q. – That is, you don’t rule out involvement of the special service of some country in Zurab Zhvania’s assassination…
A. – I think from a certain point of view Zhvania crossed into the sphere of interest of a transnational criminal organization. As I’ve told you, the connection of the former authorities of Georgia with the black arms-dealers was described in my book that was destroyed. But I don’t exclude that Georgian authorities have already passed the information I’m speaking about now to French law enforcement. (Kezerashvili will appear before the French court on 23 January).
Q. – You’ve said that somebody from the former government had sold a copy. Who do you suspect?
A. – The clan of already-detained Bacho Akhalaia. I can’t specify namely who did it.

Other Stories
Adam Kinzinger: I Strongly Support Georgia's Immediate NATO Membership
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Chairman of the Georgian Caucus of Congress, is one of the main authors of critical letters received by the Georgian government in recent months.
Matthew Bryza: "I think it’s a shame if Georgia doesn’t participate in this digital hub project"
Matthew Bryza worries new telecommunications law targets Caucasus Online and will block major investments that could make Georgia the strategic center of a “digital silk road”
Czech Ambassador: “Georgia among the best countries worldwide when it comes to combating Covid 19”
"Czech contribution in monitoring COVID-19 in Georgia was invaluable and hugely important” - Georgia’s Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze praised the Czech Republic’s contribution during Friday meeting with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska as the Georgian and Czech sides met to discuss various aspects of joint collaboration.
Russian MFA Statement About Lugar Research Center-Another Disinformation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia responds to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding Lugar's laboratory.
UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution On Occupied Territories Of Georgia
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia - "Cooperation with Georgia" within the framework of its 43rd session.
Kurt Volker about 20th of June: People Can’t Forget That
Given that one year has passed since June 20, 2019, it is interesting to see how the West assesses the developments in Georgia during this one year and what expectations it has for the October parliamentary elections.
Eastern Partnership Beyond 2020- Context and Expectations
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) marked its 10th anniversary in 2019. The round dates always come with reflections and new resolutions for the future.
"8 March Agreement Is Very important For Georgian Democracy"-Carl Hartzell
The 8th March agreement concerned not only the change in the electoral system but justice and the impermissibility of political partiality in electoral processes, - stated the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Carl Hartzell during his video broadcast.
Donald Trump Congratulates Georgia on Independence Day
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent a letter of congratulations to the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia on Independence Day.
US Ambassador Congratulating Georgia on the Independence Day
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan has congratulated Georgia on the Independence Day.
Georgia's President Warns Covid-19 Crisis Could Trigger Russian Aggression
Georgia’s president has warned that Russia’s struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus and an economic crisis compounded by an oil price collapse risk is triggering new Kremlin aggression beyond its borders, - reads an article published by Financial Times.
Creation of Maps Violating Georgia's Territorial Integrity To be Considered Illegal
Production, advertising, use, and transportation of maps and other objects reflecting the violation of the principle of territorial integrity of Georgia will be considered as an illegal act.
Turkey Starts Accepting Health Tourists From Georgia
Turkey has started accepting foreign patients from several countries, including from Georgia.
Georgia Has The Greatest Support In the World From EU-Carl Hartzell
A true friend is known to be in trouble, and we have proved that we are true friends, ”-EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel said during an online meeting with members of the European Business Association.
The EU Council Has Approved a Package of Financial Assistance to Georgia
The Council of the European Union (EU) has approved a package of emergency macro-financial assistance for 10 countries as part of its Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy.
The US Ambassador Stresses The Importance of Fair Judiciary System
We would like to see more American companies invest in Georgia and more Georgian companies in the United States said US Ambassador Kelly Degnan during a virtual press conference.
"One More Political Prisoner Is Still Waiting To Be Released"-McAllister
The MEPs expressed their opinions about the political situation in Georgia at the discussion of the report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia.
Promoting Georgia As a Safe Destination For Tourism
“Georgia – a safe destination” is a message that Georgian diplomats should send to people in their countries, - Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said while talking to Georgian ambassadors abroad via a video conference today.
UN To Allocate USD 1 Million To Support COVID-19 Crisis in Georgia
The United Nations will allocate USD 1 million for Georgia to help the country better respond to the immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the most vulnerable groups from the devastating socio-economic impacts of the health crisis.
U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Congressmen Judy Arrington, and Markwayne Mullin have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, expressing concern over the expulsion of U.S. companies and businesses from Georgia.
European Parliament Approves €150 Million Aid For Georgia
The European Parliament on Friday approved €3 billion in loans to help EU neighbors and partner countries deal with the fallout of COVID-19.
MEPs and U.S Senators Welcome the Pardon of Opposition Politicians
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced yesterday that she was pardoning Georgian opposition politicians Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili, which she said was ‘a very difficult decision’.
The Presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia Received a High Assessment
According to the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia had a very high assessment at the international level.
Coronavirus Crisis is an Opportunity to Deepen Relations With the EU-Salome Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili talked to the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö on March 14.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
October 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31