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TI – Georgia Reveals Political and Procurement Links of Mining License Holders

On November 22, Transparency International – Georgia, a local watchdog, found that out of 140 licenses to mine in Imereti, including some linked to current or former officials, 56 make political donations or participate in government tenders. The findings present data on companies licensed for mineral mining in the Imereti region of Western Georgia in 2019-2021.

TI Georgia found that out of 140 licensees to mine in Imereti, including some linked to current or former officials, 56 make political donations or participate in government tenders. 25 companies and their affiliates have donated 2,485,931 GEL to political parties, mainly to the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party. In addition, 26 licensed mining companies are involved in state procurement process and have received contracts worth GEL 757,566,585.

The company B.P.TRANS has secured GEL 26,226,116 through state procurement in 2019-2021. The 100% share owner of the company is Bichiko Paikidze, the representative of Georgian Dream in the local council of Vani (Sakrebulo), whose son is the godson of the head of the State Security Service of Georgia, Giorgi Liluashvili. Paikadze donated GEL12,000 to Georgian Dream in 2016.

Georgian Energy has received GEL 31,562,630 through state procurement in 2014-2023. The owner, Zviad Chkhobadze, donated 60,000 to GD in 2016. Similarly, the company “Association ATU” has received GEL 3,613,464 through state procurement in 2013-2021. The owners donated GEL 168,000 to the GD party and the presidential campaign of Salome Zurabishvili. The ATU representative is also linked to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Foundation.

Caucasenergo’s owner, Giorgi Molashkhia has donated to UNM (in 2012) and GD (in 2014) GEL100,000 and in return has won GEL28,226,116 in tenders. In addition, LTD Road Constriction received GEL38,586,588 in 2017-2023, the 34% of the company’s shares are owned by Giorgi Gogiberidze, who has donated GEL60,000 to UNM in 2012 (while the party was in power).

Among others, there are examples of huge donations of such companies as LTD Geo Sand, which, with its share-owners, has donated GEL595,000 to GD party and Salome Zurabishvili’s campaign. Jeo Kvartsi made donations to the same party and campaign, amounting GEL375,000.

TI-Georgia calls on the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service and the Prosecutor General’s Office to “investigate the issue of participation of companies with mineral mining licenses in the Imereti region in state tenders, as well as political donations made by persons associated with the companies, and to determine whether they contain possible signs of corruption.”

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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