BoG Robbery: Police Still Searching for the Attacker

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has post factum confirmed the information provided by Georgia’s media outlets that the Zugdidi Bank assailant is Badri Esebua, 32.

Esabua’s whereabouts are currently unknown. 

Esebua is a former military man. Prior to joining the reserve, he is said to have served in the 2nd Infantry Brigade at the Senaki military base.

The MIA has released a statement:

"Despite the 25 October statement by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, some media outlets in Zugdidi had released the photos of and information on the identified assailant in the Zugdidi bank robbery earlier than the ministry confirmed this information.

We reiterate that deliberate release of information on similar grave crimes when intensive operational activities are carried out prevents investigation from running smoothly and makes the implementation of the current and planned measures impossible.

The public already knows the identity of this person, and, correspondingly, the MIA is publicizing this information.

Following complex investigative and operational activities, the police determined that the assailant is Badri Esabua (DOB 1988)."

On October 21, Esabua broke into the building of a Bank of Georgia branch in Zugdidi and took 19 persons hostage. He demanded half a million dollars in cash, an unarmed negotiator from the authorities and security guarantees; otherwise, he would kill the hostages. 

During the day, the attacker gradually released the majority of hostages. All of his demands were satisfied and he drove away in a car with three remaining captives. Nobody was hurt.

Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri told reporters that the attackers demands were fulfilled because “for our government and for me, the people’s lives are the most important.”

A new statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs states that the investigation is underway under Articles 236, 323 and 329 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which stipulate the organization of a terrorist act, hostage-taking and illegal purchase, storage and carrying of firearms.

27 October 2020 14:10