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Illegal Distribution of Satellite Antennas by Maestro Ltd.: Statement of the Prosecutors’ Office of Georgia

Published: July 13, 2012 | 11:40 am
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The COMMERCIAL TIMES

On June 20, 2012, investigation was opened into the crime of vote-buying committed though illegal distribution of satellite antennas -effectively free of charge-on behalf of Georgian Dream in exchange for a commitment to vote for Georgian Dream in the upcoming parliamentary elections. In the course of the investigation, Prosecutors’ Office obtained authorization from the Tbilisi City Court and on June 21, 2012, sealed the antennas stored at the warehouses of Elita Burji Ltd. and other companies affiliated to a political coalition Georgian Dream coalition.

Despite the measures taken for the prevention of the crime, the investigation has sufficient evidence to believe that Maestro Ltd., acting under the instructions of Elita Burji Ltd., has imported thousands of satellite antennas for the future distribution in accordance to the scheme of vote-buying previously used by Global Contact Consulting Ltd.

Evidence obtained, including the telephone conversations of the manager of Elita Burji Ltd., confirm that Maestro Ltd. has effectively replaced Elita Burji Ltd. and other companies in the importation of satellite antennas on behalf of a political coalition Georgian Dream. In order to disguise the true owner, Elita Burji Ltd. agreed to pay a few hundred thousand US dollars to re-label the goods and show Maestro Ltd. as the owner of the antennas. However, many of the packages that are Maestro’s property according to the customs documents still bear the labels with the name of Global Contact Consulting as the owner.

The documents presented to the customs show that the Maestro’s supplier is the same Turkish company, which supplied antennas to Global Contact Consulting Ltd.

The investigation has further revealed that in order to facilitate the customs clearance process, employees of Elita Burji Ltd. have been in close contact with Maestro Ltd. and his director. Director of Maestro Ltd. was personally informed by Elita Burji Ltd. about the delivery of the goods at the customs unit and explained the customs clearance procedures.

Clearly, the whole process was managed and directed not by Maestro Ltd. but by Elita Burji Ltd.

Prosecutor’s Office, in line with the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia, has obtained an authorization from the Tbilisi City Court and sealed the antennas.

The Investigation continues under Article 1641 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

 

 

 

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