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Interior Ministry claims alleged criminal boss has been arrested

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 23
Davit Gerliani, an alleged criminal boss - also known as Svan - who arrived in Georgia on June 19 has been arrested. The information was released by the Interior Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Mghebrishvili, who stated that Davit Gerliani was arrested while he was trying to illegally cross the Georgian-Armenian border on June 22.

Mghebrishvili said the investigation was launched on June 19 under the second part of the 223 Prima Article of the Georgian Criminal Code, which implies being a member or a boss of an organised crime syndicate. According to the Minister, the investigation was launched on the basis of the released information that Davit Gerliani managed to cross the Georgian border without any obstacles.

“The mentioned person was arrested while trying to illegally cross the Georgian-Armenian border,” stated Mghebrishvili, and added that Gerliani had a Ukrainian passport in his name.

Mghebrishvili also stated that the official website of Ukrainian Interior Ministry says that Davit Gerliani was arrested in Odessa on charges of connection with organised crime – being a so-called thief-in-law – and was subsequently deported to Georgia.

According to the Minister, Georgia’s Interior Ministry addressed the Interior Ministry of Ukraine asking for an explanation as to why the Georgian side was not informed of Gerlian’s arrest and deportation to Georgia. The Ministry is also demanding clarification into the authenticity of Gerliani’s Ukrainian passport.

The information about Gerliani’s arrival in Georgia was spread by the opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), on June 19, which stated that the government has dealings with criminals.

Member of the UNM Givi Targamadze released a video of Gerliani’s deportation from Ukraine, and later Rustavi 2 TV released a video of his arrival at Tbilisi International Airport.

After his statements, Targamadze was summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office for testimony.

1. According to the Georgian Criminal Code, being a boss or a member of an organised crime syndicate is punishable by 7 to 10 years in prison.