Financial Monitoring Service started studying financial activities of TBC Bank, its customer legal persons, bank administrators and certain shareholders in May 2018, and arrived at the conclusion that in this activities clearly showed the characteristics of legalization of illegal income, i.e. money laundering, and other illicit acts.
The said materials were forwarded to National Bank of Georgia and the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia for further response.
National Bank studied the matter within its competence and responded to uncovered violations in an appropriate manner.
As for the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, it launched investigation into a criminal case of legalization of illegal income on August 2, 2018, the offense punishable under Article 194§3(c) of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
Investigation has revealed that Samgori Trade LLC and Samgori M LLC received 17 million USD In total as a loan from TBC Bank in April and May 2008, without any security and through accelerated procedure. As soon as the loaned funds were credited in the accounts of the companies, Mamuka Khazaradze and Bardi Japaridze borrowed the same amount which TBC Bank had lent to the aforementioned companies for the purpose of financing working capital. By the end of the year of 2008, TBC wrote off the said loans without any grounds and earlier than stipulated by banking regulations and moved them to external balance account while in 2012, even exempted these companies from the liabilities they owed the bank, when agreed to transfer theses liabilities to an offshore company. Interestingly, loans of Samgori Trade LLC and Samgori M LLC were written off in such manner that these companies have not paid any commissions and these loans have not been repaid to the bank. Furthermore, Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze have yet to repay the loan to Samgori Trade LLC and Samgori M LLC.
A number of investigative and procedural activities have been carried out in course of investigation, individuals involved in the matter, including Mamuka Khazaradze, have been interviewed. At this stage of investigation, it could be necessary to obtain and study additional documentation and information in order to thoroughly investigate the alleged criminal acts, to which end the Office of the Prosecutor General of Georgia has petitioned Tbilisi City Court to request information from JSC TBC Bank. The petitions granted by the Court were served upon the JSC TBC Bank for their execution. Considering the interest of the public interest in the case, the Office of the Prosecutor General will keep the society posted on the progress of the investigation.