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Law Enforcement Officers Arrested a Friend of Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava


Aleksi Bezhanishvili

Former director of the Tbilisi Water Gegi Kelbakiani and financial manager of the building company NCC Archil Chogovadze were interrogated at night to November 20 and then arrested. On the same day, Kelbakiani and Chogovadze were taken to the so-called Moduli building (office of the Special Operative Department of the MIA). Reportedly, Kelbakiani is a friend of Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava but as his lawyer said nobody had asked his clients about Ugulava during interrogation.

According to the spread information, Gegi Kelbakiani is owner of one of scandalous entertainment centers Budabari in Tbilisi. Kelbakiani’s lawyer Irakli Zhorzholiani told Interpresnews that investigation blames former director of the Tbilisi Water in legalization of illegal revenues of the building company NCC. He said Kebakiani’s detention is not connected with his activities at the Tbilisi Water. 

On November 21, Georgian MIA spread statement about detention of Giorgi (Gega) Kelbakiani and Archil Chogovadze; head of public relation department of the Ministry Nino Giorgobiani introduced journalists with the statement.

“On the fact of legalization of illicit income, the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs detained Giorgi Qelbaqiani, General Director of “NCC” LTD and Archil Chogovadze-financial manager of the same company. The above mentioned individuals, with an intent to appropriate state funds, have transacted 6 309 885 GEL to a certain individual, who on his part returned 3 032 091 GEL to Georgi Qelbaqiani and Archil Chogovadze. It is also notable that intensive investigative activities are being held against the aforesaid detainees regarding the legality of “Buddha-bar” ownership, located on Rikhe and the origination of construction funds for the luxury villas located in vicinities of Tbilisi. The arrestees will be charged within the terms defined by the law under the article 194 part III paragraph G envisaged by the Criminal Code of Georgia. The crime is punishable by imprisonment up to 12 years,” the statement reads.

Officers of the MIA Constitutional Security Department withdrew financial documentation from the Company NCC. Company representative Mariana Morgoshia informed Interpresnews about it.

She added that CSD officers inspected their company from November 12 to November 14. Morgoshia said the company continues working in ordinary regime.

“Company continues working and functioning in ordinary regime. We implement all current projects. Company NCC will publish information about its leadership later. It can be declared that nobody governs the company at the moment. We will spread relevant information publicly. Additionally, we have the same information as media sources spread. We learned about detention of director general and financial manager of the company from media,” Morgoshia said.

She did not have information whether other representatives of the company will be questioned or not. She said relevant notices were not delivered to the NCC yet.

Gega Kelbakiani and Archil Chogovadze are accused of the crime envisaged under Article 194 of the Criminal Code – legalization of illegal revenues. The crime is punishable by imprisonment up to 12 years. The accused do not plead guilty.
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