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Elite Corruption in Guria Region – How Settlement of Police High-Ranking Officials Was Created in Bakhmaro


Shorena Ghlonti, Guria

The high-ranking officials are compelled to resign in Guria region. Public agents and law enforcement officers are called for interrogations. Who is the investigation looking for?

In September of 2009, the environmental inspection found particularly large amount of wood in the mountainous resort Bakhmaro in Chokhatauri district. Then they found several cottages in the reserved zone of the forest. Several employees of the forest department in Guria region were detained for the illegally chopped trees; they are still in prison; the head of the department Gia Mgalolishvili fled from Georgia and he is still sought. 

The prosecutor’s office and the Constitutional Security Department (CSD) took up the case. The cottages turned up registered in the public registration agency.

CSD officers detained the employee of the Chokhatauri district public registration agency Gela Dolidze on September 7, 2010 for the bribery. However, the prosecutor’s office withdrew all necessary documents from the public registration agency and Chokhatauri municipal board.

Afterwards, the member of the Chokhatauri municipal board and chairman of the land legalization commission at the former municipal board Shota Siradze was called to the interrogation. Siradze did not appear at the prosecutor’s office and his location is unknown. According to unofficial information he is also sought.

As for Gela Dolidze, he was preparing cadastre drafts in exchange of certain amount of money.

According to the source of the information, the detainee made detailed testimony to the investigation. Dolidze has already pleaded guilty and named several high-ranking officials who took part in the illegal activities.

General Inspection of the MIA interrogated the head of the Bakhmaro police department Shota Mzhavanadze and his wife, father of Lavrenti Kviloria, Ozurgeti district deputy governor and two businessmen who managed to register the land in the reserved zones.

Reportedly, they own the land in the zone like about 15 law enforcement officers and high ranking officials of the Guria region administrative body, about 100 public official and their family members.

The head of the Guria regional department of the MIA Shota Chanukvadze has already resigned together with his deputes – Erodi Gordeladze and Gia Mamakaishvili. We could not get in touch with the spokesperson of the MIA Zurab Gvenetadze to hear his comments on the fact; he does not reply to phone calls.

Deputy Head of the Constitutional Security Department of the Western Georgia Shalva Bolkvadze was released soon after the elections. We cannot claim that he had any connections with this illegality. However, it is interesting where the high-ranking official of the CSD was when high-ranking officials of Guria region illegally registered plots and chopped several hectares of the forest.

Reportedly, the General Inspection interrogated the policemen of the Guria regional department of the MIA.

The investigation tried to find out the legality of each plot they have registered in Bakhmaro village.

In 2008, the president released a decree based on which citizens could register plots which they owned without registration before 2007. Legalization commissions of the municipal boards were entitled to register the plots in accordance to the corresponding documents, with the support of witnesses based on the conclusions of the specialists and experts.

Initially they cut fur-trees in Bakhmaro and transported them away by vehicles; then they levelled off the territory by tractors, paved roads and prepared the space for the construction of about 150 cottages. At that time, Shota Mzhavanadze was the head of the Bakhmaro police station. It was time when the country was under influence of the war in August of 2008 when people fled home from resorts and the same happened in Bakhmaro too. The MIA was busy with the accommodation of IDPs. The cadastre service office and the legalization commission of the municipal board took advantage of the complicated situation and started working. The commission registered the plots based on the documents-drafts provided to their office.

Supposedly the fabrication scheme was the following: the applicants wrote that their parents had built resort-houses in the 1990s-1980s in the plots without any permission but later the snow destroyed their houses. Their families used the plots and according to the legalization law, they requested permission to buy and register the plot. The legalization commission declared the “houses destroyed by the snow” to be the houses built before 2007.

The commission accepted the documents proved by the notary where the applicants claimed they were neighbours for dozen years. They acted based on the principle: “One for all, all for one.” Thus, the new, huge and elite settlement was created in Bakhmaro.

According to one of the versions, Shota Chanukvadze and his deputies Erodi Gordeladze, Gia Mamakaishvili and Elguja Chavleishvili legally registered plots and houses in Backhmaro and they have already resigned from their positions. Chokhatauri district governor and several officials of the district administration also resigned as well as the heads of the departments within the Ozurgeti municipal board.

People say it is only beginning of the process and the prosecutor’s office has already got interested in the legality of the ownership of plots on the seaside of Guria region and soon, the region might remain without governmental official at all. However, people also say that the investigation will involve officials outside Guria region and more influential people might also be detained for the reason.
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Name: ბარამიძე
2012-02-23 17:15
მე ბახმაროში ვიზრდებოდი!!!
სახლი დაინგრა ნელე-ნელა.საბუთიც არის ოჯახში. არ გვიფორმებენ. მაინც გადავიფორმებ სიკვდილის ფასად რომ დამიჯდს! დაგვანებონ თავი მკვიდრ მოსახლეობას.
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