Interior Ministry Confirms Fugitive Bank-robber Esebua Arrested

The MIA announced in its official statement that police have arrested Badri Esebua, a Zugdidi bank robber who, armed with firearms and hand grenades, had broken into the Bank of Georgia building in the western Georgian town of Zugdidi in October 2020 and initially had taken 43 people hostage releasing part of them later on. The robber demanded USD 500,000 and safe passage.

After the ransom was paid, the robber left the premises with four people, including three hostages and the head of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti police department, Avtandil Galdava, who had been acting as a negotiator. The robber released them shortly afterward. He has since been at large.

According to MIA, firearms and cartridges were found at the scene of the arrest. Esebua is charged with coercion, illegal acquisition, storage, and carrying of firearms and ammunition, as well as terrorist acts and taking citizens hostage for terrorist purposes. He was arrested in Samegrelo.

“The investigation is being conducted under Articles 150, 236, 323, and 329 of the Criminal Code of Georgia,” the MIA statement said. Esebua is facing up to 15 years in prison.

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