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Whereabouts of kidnapped Georgian man unknown

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, August 25
Georgian officials have said they do not have any information about the kidnapping of Goneli Kvirkvelia, a resident of Dikhazurga village, Gali region. The representative of the legitimate Abkhazian Government in-exile in Samegreli-Zemo Svaneti region, Tornike Kilanava said the kidnappers have so far not contacted either members of Kvirkvelia’s family or law enforcement agencies’ officials. “We do not have any information about the location and the condition of the kidnapped person,” he noted.

Kvirkvelia was kidnapped from his own home at dawn on August 23 by five armed men, according to the Abkhazian Government in-exile. The armed men physically assaulted members of Kvirkvelia’s family, stole jewellery and money and took Goneli Kvirkvelia as hostage, Kilanava said. Later the kidnappers contacted the relatives of the hostage and demanded a ransom of USD 50 thousand, Rustavi 2 TV Company reported on Monday.

Georgian law enforcers have launched an investigation of the case. Officials in Tbilisi assume that the kidnapping is linked with the seasonal harvesting of nuts, which has just started in Gali region. The de facto Abkhazian authorities have not yet commented on the incident.

Meanwhile, the information agency Apsnypress reported on the kidnapping of 56-year-old Roland Gvaramia, a resident of Repi, a village in Gali region. The kidnappers demanded a USD 30 thousand ransom from his family, according to the de facto Abkhazian law enforcers. The investigation of the case is underway, Apsnypress reported.