TBC Bank co-founder Mamuka Khazaradze says that the equivalent of more than $16 million has been frozen on his accounts and on those of co-founder Badri Japaridze per a request of the Prosecutor’s Office.
This action serves only one purpose – to bring an end to the public movement we have announced and to all ongoing charity and business projects, including Anaklia. We are not scared! We continue the struggle!” Khazaradze wrote on his Facebook page.
The Prosecutor’s Office had been looking into a possible case of money laundering as far back as August 2018.
Khazaradze and Japaridze were then charged on July 24, 2019 for laundering $16,664,000.
The case dates back to 2008, when LTD Samgori M and LTD Samgori Trade received a 17 million USD loan in an accelerated manner from TBC Bank without providing anything in collateral.
On the same day, the same amount was placed onto the personal accounts of Khazaradze and Japaridze, the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office claims.
Khazaradze and Japaridze deny the charges against them, and say that the case discredits the bank and affects the country’s economic image at large.
They said that the transaction in question took place in full compliance with the law and that leading financial institutions have confirmed this in audits.
Mamuka Khazaradze’s TBC Group is a co-founder of the Anaklia Development Consortium, which is building the Anaklia Deep Sea Port in the country’s Black Sea town of Anaklia.
Since the allegations have been made against them, Khazaradze and Japaridze have left their top managerial posts at the Anaklia Development Consortium to“protect the Anaklia Port project and end speculations.”
Founder of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze announced plans to create a new public movement in September, which “will attempt to unite Georgia and preserve the country’s freedom and independence”.