Op-ed: Benefits of contact between Abkhaz and Georgian law enforcement
A criminal who robbed a bank in Zugdidi on October 21 and made off with half a million dollars is being sought in Georgia. Some are now putting the blame on Abkhazia, saying, “We pursued him, of course, but right away he made it to Abkhazia”.
In turn, Abkhazia retorted that their borders are locked up tight, saying that not even a single mouse could sneak in, much less a criminal with a ton of cash.
Let’s say the situation were flipped, a bank had been robbed in Ochamchire (Abkhazia), and the perpetrator managed to escape. Of course, we all know, they would pin the blame on Georgia, with customs officials sticking to the line of “he’s certainly not here”.
It’s true that average citizens on the border of Georgia and Abkhazia cannot pass without proper documents. But for a criminal? It’s no problem to get away to the shores.
This is indisputable. There are more than enough gaps in those 80 kilometres.
As such, Abkhaz criminals flee to Georgia, and Georgian ones hide out in Abkhazia. At the moment, there’s nothing that can be done about that, since there’s hardly any communication between the law-enforcement agencies of the two hostile countries.
A Georgian journalist could call the secretary of the Security Council, Sergey Shamba, and ask him if anyone has seen the fugitive.
But the Georgian police couldn’t even ask the same question of their Abkhaz colleagues. Maybe that’s down to pride. Maybe it’s just a lack of trust.
But the fact remains. There is no communication between the law-enforcement agencies of Georgia and Abkhazia. This creates serious problems for them and for others.
Politics is politics, of course. But there has to be some sort of communication, on an unofficial level at the very least.
As long as there isn’t any, this Zugdidi bank robber, if he really has escaped to somewhere in Abkhazia, can rest easily. Nobody can find him there. Just like any Abkhaz criminal can take it easy in Georgia.