US ‘closely following’ money laundering case of TBC Bank founders

The US Embassy says that they are concerned by the timing of the charges. Photo: US embassy press KCCT., 25 Jul 2019 - 13:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US Embassy to Georgia says that they are ‘closely following’ the developments related to the criminal charges the Georgian Chief Prosecutor General’s Office has filed against TBC Bank founders Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze.

We are concerned about the context and timing of these charges,” the statement reads.

The embassy says that an impartial and transparent legal system that is free of political influence is vital for Georgia’s western integration and its ability to attract foreign investment.

We continue to support the Anaklia port project, a significant source of U.S. investment in Georgia that has the potential to advance the country’s economic growth,” the embassy states.

Khazaradze and Japaridze have were officially charged with laundering $16.7 million yesterday, which the Prosecutor’s Office says took place in 2007-2008.

Khazaradze says that the charge “aims to stop the construction of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port.

The Georgian government denies the allegations, saying the project has “huge support” from the government, taking its strategic importance into account.