Mamuka Khazaradze's exclusive interview: "I can't rule out the possibility of my detention"
11 March, 2019
Mamuka Khazaradze's exclusive interview: "I can't rule out the possibility of my detention"
Mamuka Khazaradze, one of the founders of TBC Bank has recently given an exclusive interview to the Kviris Palitra newspaper. "The National Bank told me I had to resign as the Chairperson of the Supervisory Board and sent me a letter saying that they could not prove the money laundering and that they had complaints about the conflict of interests. When I told them I wanted to publicize the letter, they said they would give the letter to the bank to
allow it to continue operation, while I had to leave the bank. Is not this blackmail? Should the National Bank use this language? Why do not they make an official comment on whether there was money laundering or not?!" said Mamuka Khazaradze.

Khazaradze added that now they expect anything as they were unfairly removed from the bank which they had been building for 27 years. He states that he can’t even rule out the possibility of his detention.

"Is not this a psychological pressure?! Is not this a leverage to influence my partners?", - Khazaradze said and called himself a victim of a huge state machine.

When asked about the possibility of leaving the Anaklia consortium, Khazaradze replied: "What does it mean to leave? I undertook such a big responsibility. Tomorrow they may tell you to leave Georgia." Khazaradze said that If they are forced to leave the project, there will be a very serious dispute, unlike the TBC Bank.
"Of course. We are not going to give up anything. We have not delayed the construction even for a day. When we saw that negotiations with banks were delayed not because of us, but because of their demands, we invested 70 million dollars to ensure a smooth continuation of the construction. Thus we put ourselves under a risk. And now the state tells us we could not do something and we should go home. Is it a right thing that our energy is now spent to give interviews and assure investors? The only thing we demand is a quick investigation of the case. They could “investigate” the authenticity of the threat letter in one day. So how is it possible that they have not been able to investigate the money laundering for eight months?" Mamuka Khazaradze said.

When asked about the reports that Bidzina Ivanishvili rebuked Kvirikashvili for allowing Mamuka Khazaradze to take part in the tender without competition, Khazaradze replied by saying: "It is a lie. 12 international companies participated in the competition”.

“By the way, a meeting was held regarding Anaklia three weeks before Giorgi Kvirikashvili's resignation. The meeting was attended by Bidzina Ivanishvili, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Dimitri Kumsishvili, Maia Tskitishvili and me. Ivanishvili said at the meeting that the Anaklia project was important and thanked Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his efforts in this direction. I thought then that this was a final political decision and no one could hamper the project. Three weeks later Kvirikashvili was dismissed...", Mamuka Khazaradze said.

TBC Bank case

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office stated a month ago that the Financial Monitoring Service launched a study of financial assets of TBC Bank, its client companies, bank administrators and particular shareholders in May 2018, which revealed that there were “signs of money laundering”.

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG)demanded the withdrawal of the head of the supervisory council of the Georgian leading TBC bank Mamuka Khazaradze and the deputy head of the council Badri Japaridze from the council due to the case. Mamuka Khazaradze claimed that it was a deliberate campaign against him related to the construction of Anaklia deep sea port.
A week ago, Mamuka Khazaradze said that he received a threatening letter by Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia before the second round of the presidential elections. The statement was made at the sitting of the Finance and Budget Committee in Parliament on the 4th of March. He was then summoned for questioning in court by the Prosecutor’s Office. On the 5th of March, Mamuka Khazaradze arrived at the City Court with a letter in his hand.

Related stories:

Mamuka Khazaradze quits TBC bank, does not sell the TBC Bank share

How Mamuka Khazaradze made his first million

“TBC Bank” co-founder Mamuka Khazarade says he received threatening letter from Interior Minister

TBC Bank finds itself in hot water again

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