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MIA: robber who broke into the BOG branch is Badri Esebua

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, October 28
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the investigation has already identified the person involved in the robbery of the Bank of Georgia branch in Zugdidi on October 21st.

"As a result of operative and search measures, the identified person involved in the attack is Badri Esebua, born in 1988. To arrest him, the police are actively pursuing special operative, investigative, and search operations," said the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Vladimer Bortsvadze on October 26th.

As Bortsvadze explained in a conversation with the media, the culprit was identified the same night. He denied the information that the arrested Esebua escaped from the law enforcers.

On October 25th, the MIA stated that the robber had already been identified and called on the media not to reveal his identity. The main channel reported the same day that the robber was Badri Esebua, who according to them is an active military man.

"Esebua is not enlisted in the Defense Forces-he is not a current military serviceman," the Ministry of Defense told the media.

Esebua's father says that he last saw his son on October 21st and that he was going to see a doctor in Tbilisi. The father says Esebua will return home in Zugdidi "tomorrow or the day after tomorrow."

"It was 5 o'clock, I was coming from work, he had to go to Tbilisi to see a doctor,” said Esebua's father.

Until now, the investigation was underway under the articles of robbery, hostage-taking, and illegal purchase-storage-carrying of firearms. At the moment, the investigation is underway under Articles 323, 236, and 329 of the Criminal Code, which stipulates a terrorist act, hostage-taking for terrorist purposes, and illegal purchase, possession, and carrying of firearms.

The robber entered the bank on October 21st and took hostages. Soon, one of the hostages Irakli Kvaratskhelia contacted the Main Channel as instructed by the perpetrator. Kvaratskhelia said that there were 19 hostages in the room where he was with the robber. Kvaratskhelia stated that the attacker was armed to the teeth with a machine gun, a pistol, and a grenade.

The robber demanded $ 500,000 and a safe passage. At approximately 22:00, the robber left with three hostages - one of whom was Avtandil Galdava, director of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Police Department.

Hours later, the attacker released the three hostages and fled.