Armed Individual Breaks into a Zugdidi Bank

On Wednesday afternoon, an armed individual broke into the building of one of the banks, presumably the Bank of Georgia, on Zviad Gamsakhurdia Street in Zugdidi. The MIA received a report of this act at 14:21, according to the Ministry’s statement. The assailant has since then contacted TV media and presented their conditions.

“Police officers made an instant response, cordoned off the area around the incident site, and launched an operation to neutralize the assailant. At this moment, law enforcers are mobilized on the spot, investigative and operative measures are underway.

"For the peaceful conduction of police operation, it is critically important to ensure safety norms in the vicinities of the scene. The Ministry of Internal Affairs would like to call on the media sources to observe the security norms, avoid live coverage of the police activities and operation led by the officers from the Special Forces. The mentioned action will pose a threat to the lives and health of citizens and police officers.

"An investigation into the incident was been launched under Article 179, 236, and 144 envisaged by the Criminal Code of Georgia. Additional information regarding the fact will be later released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” reads the MIA statement published earlier today.

Approximately at 16:30, the attacker reached out to television channels Mtavari Arkhi and Formula, presenting his conditions and demands. He wants an unarmed negotiator to enter the building with half a million dollars in cash, a guarantee of his safety and freedom, and a plane or a car to flee in. Reportedly, the attacker plans to leave with the hostages. It was one of his hostages that presented the assailant’s demands.

It was visible from the video call that 17 hostages were sitting on the floor of the bank and none of them seemed to have been injured. There are 18 hostages in total, according to the hostage that video called the media.  

The assailant promises he will not hurt anyone if his demands are met.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image grabbed from the video

21 October 2020 17:01