Eurasianet, an independent news organisation based at the US Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, on Friday said questions were mounting in Georgia about the political influence of the wanted former Defence Minister David Kezerashvili after a BBC investigation had identified him as the “lynchpin” of a global scam network.
The BBC investigation report published on Wednesday explored Kezerashvili's role at the heart of a shadowy network that had allegedly defrauded many, including elderly people, out of a total of a billion dollars by pushing scam stock and cryptocurrency investments on them.
“The report delivered another blow to the reputation of Kezerashvili, who has already been under scrutiny for his alleged meddling in Georgia's opposition party politics”, Eurasianet said in its article.
“The BBC cited multiple pieces of evidence linking Kezerashvili to groups of businessmen and companies involved in the network, including what is known to police as the Milton group and a group predating it”, the article noted.
Eurasianet highlighted that call centres, legitimate and otherwise, had been proliferating in Georgia in recent years, attracting the country's young foreign language speakers with relatively well-paid jobs, and noted Georgian law enforcers had recently started cracking down on the networks and raiding their offices, apparently following a push from European authorities.