20 May 2022,   14:45
Prosecution Service of Georgia solves transnational crime in cooperation with German side

The Prosecution Service of Georgia has solved a transnational crime in cooperation with the German side. Based on a court warrant, officers of various units of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, and the Prosecution Service of Georgia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance and the State Security Service of Georgia have arrested seven members of a transnational criminal organization as a result of joint actions.

“A large - scale operation planned with the involvement of the German side and with the support of Eurojust has been carried out simultaneously at tens of various locations in two countries.

110 officers of the law enforcement authorities of Georgia and the Federal Republic of Germany participated in the operation conducted in the territory of Georgia.

Within the scope of the operation, personal searches of the members of the criminal organization, and searches of their residences, vehicles and workplaces have been conducted; over 100 electronic data carriers, documentation and an especially large amount of monetary funds, presumably obtained through criminal means, have been seized; numerous procedural actions have been carried out - real estate, vehicles, monetary funds on bank accounts and shares of various companies acquired through criminal means have been frozen.

Ongoing investigation in Georgia, Germany and in various countries has revealed as follows:

In 2015, citizens of Georgia and Israel formed a coordinated, hierarchically structured criminal organization in order to acquire direct financial and otherwise material gain.

Over the course of the criminal activities, members of the organization fraudulently took possession of millions of euros owned by citizens of Germany and legalized the illicit revenue obtained through criminal means.

In accordance with the criminal scheme, members of the organization founded six limited liability companies in Georgia, which they used as the basis to organize a call center. By hiring persons speaking foreign languages as operators, the organization targeted citizens living in various European countries.

Tens of electronic trading platforms were created to facilitate the criminal operation of the call center. These platforms made sure that the funds fraudulently obtained from the customers were paid into the bank accounts of the members of the criminal organization.

According to the predesigned plan, call center employees contacted citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany and other countries by using fake phone numbers, introduced themselves with aliases, provided them with false information about the location of their company and offered them to participate in electronic trading with securities, shares, assets, currency and cryptocurrency by utilizing the electronic platforms created by the criminal organization.

The operators convinced the customers that by betting on rising and falling of rates with their assistance, they would generate solid profits. After receiving consents from customers, the funds paid by them for electronic trading were placed on the bank accounts controlled by the criminal organization.

Monetary funds obtained through criminal means were placed on the accounts of the companies incorporated by the criminal organization abroad via bank transactions. These same funds were later transferred to the accounts of their own companies in Georgia under fake purposes, seemingly as the reimbursement for services rendered.

Through this scheme, fraudulently obtained illicit revenue in the amount of EUR 9,490,991, USD 716,642 and GBP 218,000 was legalized.

7 members of the organization have been arrested in Georgia. Six of them have been charged with fraud and legalization of illicit revenue under Article 180 and Article 194 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which entail imprisonment for imprisonment for a term of twelve years as a penalty.

The Prosecution Service of Georgia has already applied to Tbilisi City Court with a request to use detention as a measure of constraint against all the six defendants. One of the members of the criminal organization has been placed under arrest pending extradition.

Investigation carries on with active cooperation with the German side in order to identify and implicate other persons involved in the illegal activities of the criminal organization.

Availing of this opportunity to renew the assurances of highest consideration to the representatives of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Georgia, the German Police Attaché and the Bavarian State Police, the Prosecution Service of Georgia expresses its willingness to effectively cooperate in the fight against transnational crimes in future”, - reads the statement of the Prosecution Service.