Property for 1 GEL
Adjara Government Made Present for the Friend of Ilham Aliev’s Daughter
Eter Turadze, Newspaper “Batumelebi”
In 2011, Government of the Adjara Autonomous Republic sold more than 30 hectares of land for 1 GEL. The part of the land is located in the Old Batumi and on the coastline; another part is located in several villages of Adjara. The documents obtained by the Batumelebi prove that a friend of Ilham Aliev’s (President of Azerbaijan) daughter also received a part of the present. Last week, the Batumelebi tried to find out how the state can benefit from this decision.
1 113 sq. meters of building and 1 613 sq. meter of land were sold for 1 GEL in Menjistskali village in Khelvachauri district. According to the agreement, since the agreement was signed on February 24, 2011 the Company “Bakara” had to open a meat factory within 6 months in the area. The same agreement required the Company to invest 1 million USD in the enterprise and at least 60 citizens of Georgia were to be employed in it seven months after the agreement was signed.
“The Batumelebi” visited Menjistskali village to check how the company executed the agreement requirements. The Company “Bakara” had really implemented some activities in the village but enterprise is not working there and nobody was employed in it either. “Bakara” is a Turkish Company.
Attorney/governor of Batumi Industrial District Davit Iremadze said he does not know how many people might be employed in the enterprise in future; he does not know when the construction will start either.
Last summer, Ltd Vento purchased a land of 301 sq meters next to Alphabet Tower in Batumi for 1 GEL through direct procurement procedures. The Adjara Government assigned the land to the Company in order to build an electricity sub-station within 4 months and to guarantee non-stop electricity supply for the surrounding settlement.
In this particular case, it was strange why Ltd Vento should have guaranteed non-stop electricity supply for the surrounding entities and implements the functions of the Electricity Distribution Company Energo-Pro Georgia.
Ltd Vento and Riviera are parts of Kazakh investment and they belong to Silk Road Group… Mikheil Saakashvili introduced the Group to the Georgian society in 2006. The President said that Kazakh group intended to invest 100 million USD in 2008 and build new hotels in the seaside of Adjara. As a result, IDPs were evicted from 21 old hotels in Batumi in order not to hinder construction of new hotels by the investor. The latter paid 17 million USD to the state and 14 Million of it was spent on the compensations of IDPs. Only Radisson Hotel was constructed and part of IDPs still does not have homes and urges the government for help.
In accordance to the agreement with the Financial Ministry of Adjara, the sold 21 hotels belong to the Company Adjara Hirizonts Holding B.V instead the Silk Road Group. The former was founded in Netherlands five days before the property was sold and it has signed cooperation agreement with the Silk Road Group. Nobody knows who the founders of the Company are.
Of course, it does not change anything who did not execute its responsibilities before the Georgian state – Georgian or Kazakh and did not build any hotels from 2008 to 2011 (except Radisson). The state did not impose any sanctions on the Silk Road Group for the breached agreement unlike other business companies; moreover, the director of the Company Giorgi Nikolaishvili told the Batumelebi that the deadline for the construction of hotels was postponed till 2019.
Nevertheless, Zurab Churkveidze from the privatization department of the Ministry of Finances of Adjara provided the Batumelebi with completely different information. He said “as for the Silk Road Group, or Adjara Hirisonts Holding B.V. - the founder of the Vento, it fulfilled one of its obligations. More precisely, they built and exploited the Hotel Radisson in the territory of the old Hotel Medea; as for other responsibilities, we are working on the changes in the procurement agreement.”
(When agreement requirements are breached, the party shall be fined or the property shall be seized. The state imposed similar sanctions on famous football player Kakha Kaladze. He has to pay 19 000 USD to the state every day since September 15, 2008 for the breached agreement).
-Why should the region, where 18 387 impoverished families live according to the 2011 December data, (total population of Adjara Autonomous Republic is 96 000), give the land of 301 sq. meters to the Company, which is considered as one of the richest players on the market and who has already received many privileges from the state?
-We sent the question to the Minister of Finances and Economy of Adjara Vazha Bolkvadze whose institution legalizes the decisions of Levan Varshalomidze, head of Adjara Government. Zurab Churkveidze from the Ministry sent a reply to our question by e-mail which reads: “You know that the construction of the Alphabet Tower and Square has finished. We intend modernization of yacht club, which requires additional electricity source; consequently, the privatization of the land aimed to ensure electricity supply for the state property.”
Azerbaijan Zaripa Hamzaeva also received one hectare of land on the seaside in Batumi for 1 GEL. According to Azerbaijan media, she is one of the richest persons in the country. The Georgian state requested Zaripa Hamzaeva to construct 100-room modern hotel in Batumi within 20 months and to employ 100 Georgian citizens in it. The Adjara Ministry of Finances signed the agreement with Hamzaeva on June 17, 2011.
However, even the foundation was not laid to the hotel yet, which should be located between Marina and Aqua Park in Batumi; so, the friend and partner of President Ilham Aliev’s daughter has left only 12 months to construct 100-room hotel.
Azerbaijan edition of the Radio “Freedom” reports that Zaripa Hamzaeva and President Aliev’s daughter are very scandalous people. According to the Radio “Freedom”, their activities are connected with “various violations and corruption.”
According to the journalistic investigation of the Radio “Freedom” (August 13, 2010) Holding of Alieva and Zaripa Hamzaeva (wife of Jangir Askerov, President of Azali – Azerbaijan National Air-Transit Company) unifies 23 Companies and plays dominant role in the air-service business in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan media does not report anything about Zaripa’s present in Batumi. The Ministry of Finances state that Zaripa’s trustee Elnur Mamedov attended the Present Awarding Ceremony.
Adjara government sold 32 382 sq. meters of land in Khutsubani village in Kobuleti district for one GEL. According to their decision, the property belongs to the Ltd LEGI. The latter had to construct concrete enterprise in the area by the end of 2011 and invest at least 1 million GEL in it. Another responsibility of the Company was to employ 40 people in the enterprise during 3 years.
Attorney of Khutsubani village Zurab Bajelidze said the enterprise has not been opened in the village so far. According to him, the Legi is constructing the enterprise near the Kintrishi River. It means they plan to remove inert materials from the river in future.
Environmentalist Archil Guchmanidze said if they start removal of inert materials from the Kintrishi, it will result into migration of Black Sea salmon from the river which is among endangered species. “I do not know the project but if it is true, it will cause a disaster because Salmon can spat only in Machakhela and Kintrishi Rivers besides the rivers in Abkhazia. We know that they intend to construct HES in Machakhela River so Kintrishi is the last shelter for the Salmon.”
Mersin Tourism purchased a property in the corner of Shavsheti and Gogebashvili Streets in Batumi for 1 GEL. Based on Levan Varshalomidze’s decree 5 196 sq. meters of land and 4 707 sq. meters of building were assigned to this company.
Agro Décor Service also paid 1 GEL for 25 hectares of land in Tsetskhlauri village in Kobuleti. The Company has to establish greenhouse farm in the village before the end of 2014 and employ at least 20 people there.
Last year, the properties were mostly assigned to foreign citizens and companies in exchange of 1 GEL; but it is not all yet. There are units which were alienated in exchange of certain amount of money. For example, a favorite of the Adjara Government Ltd Seaside paid 50 001 GEL for total 1 753 sq. meters of land in various streets of Batumi. The entire territory of the Adjara Autonomous Republic is only 2 900 sq. kilometers.
Photo: Building of 1 113 sq. meters and land of 1 613 sq. meters in Khelvachauri district
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