“Despite the pressure, the Cartu Bank officers are not thinking about leaving the job”
27 October, 2011
“Despite the pressure, the Cartu Bank officers are not thinking about leaving the job”

We interviewed Nodar Javakhishvili, the new President of Cartu Group and General Director of Cartu Bank to learn more on when it looks suspicious to transport foreign currency by a bank car and what mutual obligations link National Bank of Georgia to commercial banks.

A: The President of the National Bank claims that a commercial bank is supposed to agree with the National Bank regarding the strengthening of commercial banks’ cash deposits. I am not aware of any relevant regulatory act

that obliges to do so. So, it would be better if he specified the current law that confirms this rule. When I was the President of the National Bank, we would cut money on correspondence accounts of commercial banks if this money was unsupported by cash but in return we would give them the same amount in cash both in Lari and foreign currencies. However, this procedure was later changed and the cash point strengthening was done both in the National Bank and commercial banks. The only difference is that this operation implies paying a commission to the National Bank but paying no charges to a commercial bank for the same service.

They say that recently we received USD 4 million from the Bank of Georgia. At the time for “unknown reasons” nobody thought that it was a “suspiciously huge sum” and nobody attacked the Bank of Georgia’s car to arrest the bank money. Maybe it is because that bank is associated with Gilauri just like Cartu is associated with Ivanishvili? I must be suffering dementia to disassociate it from the current political process. It is obvious that the Authorities pushed Cartu Bank into the force majeure situation. Now they are “working on” our clients to induce them to abandon our bank. The words that the National Bank and law enforcers said about money laundering is a shame and devoid of logic. It would have been better for them if they said directly that the money was arrested just because Bidzina Ivanishvili needed it. However, such statement too would sound silly because Bidzina Ivanishvili owns over 5 billion dollars.

The campaign launched against Cartu Bank is a reflection of Government’s sickness. What money laundering! We made a cashless money transfer to our own correspondent account in a certain New York bank and then did the same financial operation in a German bank. On their part, these banks transferred sums to a correspondent account of the Bank of Georgia (like the Bank of Georgia, we have correspondent accounts abroad). This information is important because if the money laundering did occur, all the involved banks should be brought to account. I am embarrassed as I am forced to explain such apparent things that point to the fact that an attack on the bank money transportation car and the arrest of the money is an unbelievable event for the civilized world. Our car was stopped by the masked men (right around the corner to the entrance of the Bank of Georgia), who were dressed in plain clothes and sneakers, holding guns. Later it turned out that the attackers were members of special task force. I told one foreigner that if such an attack had happened in his country, guards transporting such sums of money would definitely use guns and the blood would have been spilled. He agreed. I can even tell you how this attack on Cartu Bank’s car was prepared. Initially, our representative contacted the Bank of Georgia and received confirmation that the bank was able to give us the money in cash. They said the Bank of Georgia had excessive amounts of US dollars and Euros. They were happy to accommodate. Yet, they took back their word twice. In the end, we told them that if they did not want to give us cash, we would negotiate with another bank. On hearing that, they gave their consent again. It seems the special operation was getting a go-ahead “at every level”. Everybody knows what happened next.

Q: There are reports that Cartu Bank officers are also subjected to pressure.

A: Yes. Some of them are visited by district police inspectors and advised to leave the bank. However, our officers are very loyal and unanimous in their determination to stay.

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