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10 Arrested for Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering

The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia arrested 10 individuals on charges of illegally importing drugs in particularly large quantities and engaging in money laundering, following a “complex” investigation in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor’s Office reported on June 17. The defendants face potential sentences from 15 to 20 years, or life imprisonment.

The Prosecutor’s Office says that in 2022, an Iranian citizen established an organized criminal group to illegally import drugs and launder the illicit income. He allegedly operated restaurants and night clubs at three different locations in Tbilisi, funding them with the money earned through narcotics sales. The POG did not disclose the names of the clubs.

“The nightclubs served as hubs for drug distribution and laundering illicit funds. The members of the organized group fraudulently inflated the income of the clubs. Specifically, in October 2023, the defendants allegedly earned GEL 3,000,000 in just 5 days, concealing the origin of the funds derived from drug sales. Part of the money was deposited into the bank account of one of the members of the criminal group at different times. This individual carried out international money transfers and cryptocurrency exchange operations,” the Prosecutor’s Office said, adding that one of the group’s criminal associates tried to smuggle more than 25 kg of dried cannabis into Georgia from Iran in June 2024.

The Office stated that the defendants obtained movable and immovable property valued at approximately GEL 3,000,000 (equivalent to approximately USD 1,045,400) with illicit income. The Prosecutor’s Office further reported that these properties has been sequestrated, and and pledged to work towards transferring them to the state.

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

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