22 June 2024,   19:52
Prosecutor’s Office detained another person in connection with theft of rare books from libraries in EU countries.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia detained another member of an organised crime group as part of an ongoing international investigation into a case of stealing and sale of rare 19th century books across Europe.

According to the agency, its investigation had found Georgian citizens had developed a criminal scheme with the intention of stealing XIX century books worth “hundreds of thousands of euros” for further sale throughout Europe, with the criminal actions committed between 2022 and 2023.

“The individuals used fake ID cards and fictitious names to obtain the books from national and university libraries in France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Switzerland, Poland and the Czech Republic, before replacing them with pre-made high-quality copies of the originals when returning them to the venues.

Four members of the group had already been detained as part of investigative actions conducted in dozens of locations across the country.

The Prosecutor’s Office cooperating with the Interior Ministry and law enforcement agencies from Switzerland, France and Lithuania.

The large-scale efforts involved more than 100 employees from law enforcement agencies of the EU countries and Georgia, with the investigative team created with the support of the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation.

The crime is punishable by 6 to 10 years of imprisonment”, - reads the statement.