State Security Service: “false reports” of explosives in Batumi facilities “originate from overseas”

SSS said the initiators of the fake notifications at different times have been identified as a specific group of individuals abroad. Photo: SSS press office, 22 Jan 2024 - 12:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian State Security Service on Monday said the “false reports” on potential presence of explosives at several locations in the country's western city of Batumi, made on Sunday, had been made from abroad. 

The body noted in response to the notifications that its counter-terrorist units and the Ministry of Internal Affairs had implemented precautionary measures in shopping centers and educational institutions across Batumi, with no explosive devices found. 

Those making the false notifications used a mobile phone number of a minor citizen of Georgia, the agency noted, and added a criminal investigation was underway over false reporting of terrorism and the related agencies of partner states had been informed for necessary aid.

The agency further noted false reports about a terrorist attack on Gallery Tbilisi shopping centre in Tbilisi in December 2023 and January 2024 had also been linked to international online games that the SSS claimed involved minors from various countries, including Georgia. 

The initiators of the fake notifications have been identified as a specific group of individuals abroad, prompting the implementation of appropriate special measures, the agency added.