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Adventures of investors in Georgia2011-04-08 20:43
Georgia keeps hunting foreign businessmen. After Ron Fuchs and Zeeva Frenkel the Georgian authorities turned to Turkish investors. Iyaman Chagatay, director of Doruk Nit and Rood Company is accused of misappropriating a GEL 1.2 concessional loan. Moreover, the entrepreneur is charged with legalization of illegal incomes and falsification of customs documents. Who will come next?
Remarkably, Chagatay was detained by the anti-crisis department at the general prosecutor's office of Georgia. Naturally, the authorities have repeatedly stated that the global crisis was a serious blow to the country's economy but is the hunt for foreign businessman the right solution? Anyway, the inquest suggests that in 2008 the Turkish businessman was granted an almost 2 mln loan from the country's budget for construction of a citrus processing plant in Khutsubani village of Kobuleti district, Rosbalt writes. The plant was supposed to offer 300 employments. No doubt, it would be more than enough in conditions of total unemployment.
But according to the reports of the law-enforcement authorities, Chagatay failed to comply with the commitments: he did not build the citrus processing factory; neither did he provide employments. Instead, he misappropriated GEL 1.3 mln, as alleged. If the Turk's guilt is proved he will be sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment.
Why do the authorities attack Chagatay now, three years after the event? An assumption is that the entrepreneur was on the run (though it's not clear why). Actually he was a 100 per percent owner of Khutsubani Packing Plant LLC that he had bought for EUR 175 million by the way.
The Chagatay case reminds of a scandal over the arrest of two Israeli businessmen - Ron Fuchs and Zeeva Frenkel. They were detained last October in one elite restaurant of Batumi at a meeting with deputy finance minister Avtandil Kharaidze. The entrepreneurs were accused of an attempt to bribe Kharaidze offering GEL 7 mln in exchange for refusal to contest the decision of the international arbitration court. As a result the city court of Tbilisi found Fuchs and Frenkel guilty awarding 7 and 6.5 prison sentences accordingly. Besides, both must pay monetary penalties to Georgia. Now the future of the businessmen is being discussed at the level of ministries of foreign affairs with Israel believing that Fuchs and Frenkel were simply framed.