All nine hostages freed in central Tbilisi, attacker arrested

  • The bank is located on Akaki Tsereteli Avenue in Tbilisi, and the area has been cordoned off. Photo: rustavi2., 20 Nov 2020 - 19:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Updated: 20:23

Police confirm that all nine hostages in central Tbilisi, employees of microcredit company MBC, have been freed after negotiations with the attacker. The attacker, who announced three demands, has been arrested. 

Earlier 19:55

Six hostages, most of them employees of MBC microfinance company, have been freed after a two-hour long negotiations with the attacker. 

Earlier: 18:49

Allegedly, the robber who attacked the microfinance organization is Levan Zurabishvili, from the city of Borjomi.

He published a video recorded at the microfinance organization at 17:45 on his Facebook account where he urges MPs to implement three laws:

  • First, prohibit gambling throughout Georgia
  • Second - for banks to limit interest rate on loans to seven per cent annually and the interest rate of already issued loans to be brought down to seven per cent
  • Third, decrease the price of medications and pharmacies to only be allowed to receive 10 per cent profits out of selling medicines.

He says that pensioners do not have large enough pensions to pay for medications.

 The robber is allegedly inebriated.

Earlier: 18:24

MBC has released an announcement concerning the hostage situation in one of its branches in Tbilisi.

The microfinance organization says the company is in contact with the Ministry of Internal affairs, and is acting according to their instructions. The announcement notes that the company is doing everything to end the process peacefully.

In this situation, the health and safety of employees is the main task of MBC,” reads the announcement.

Earlier: 17:31

Microfinance organization Micro Business Capital (MBC) has been attacked by an armed individual  in central on Tsereteli avenue Tbilisi around 5 p.m. today.

The details of the attack are not yet known. Based on Tbilisi police information , there is one armed attacker who took nine hostages in the microfinance organization.

One witness told Georgian reporters that two hostages have been released already.

The robber may have a grenade.

MBC is located on the first floor of the residential building. 

The demand of the robber is yet unknown.

Law enforcers and special forces units are outside the building.

The area has been cordoned off. 

Additional details will follow as developments unfold.