A young man broke into the office of a microfinance company in Tbilisi’s Didube district in the afternoon of November 20, taking 9 hostages, Head of Patrol Police Vazha Siradze told journalists.
The assailant is reportedly drunken and wielding a hand grenade, according to media reports.
A Facebook video address allegedly shot on the crime scene showed the assailant listing his demands, including adoption of gambling ban by the new parliament, limitation of interest rates for bank loans to an annual 7%, and lowering of medication prices and limiting the profits of pharmacy networks to 10%.
Police operation is underway to release the hostages.
The Ministry of Interior said the investigations were opened under Articles 236 and 179 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving illegal purchase, storage and carrying of firearms, and robbery, respectively.
The incident comes weeks after armed robber took 43 hostages in the Bank of Georgia office in Zugdidi, western Georgian region of Samegrelo, in October. The robber, later identified as Badri Esebua, who managed to escape with ransom, is still at large.