Zugdidi bank robber took money from bank, not from state
The Georgian government says that the Zugdidi bank robber who took 43 people hostage on October 21 received money from the bank, not from the state.
The Georgian MIA has still not released information on the identity of the armed man.
The offender disappeared in an unknown direction, the search for him continues.
The Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Vakhtang Gomelauri, in his first commentary for the media following the incident, said that the money transferred to the criminal belonged to the Bank of Georgia, whose branch was attacked, and not to the state budget.
Are there accomplices among the hostages?
“Perhaps 10 out of 43 hostages were accomplices of the criminal, but it’s impossible to say for sure,” the minister said.
Precedent set by paying a ransom?
“For me personally and for our government, not a single sum of money is worth a human life, not even 10 or 100 million,” Gomelauri said in response to a question regarding the ethical side of paying the ransom for hostages.
A day after the events in Zugdidi, a robbery took place in the coastal town of Kobuleti in Western Georgia, during which 75,000 lari [approximately $23,000] was stolen.
Vakhtang Gomelauri does not believe that the robbery in Kobuleti was a reaction to the precedent in Zugdidi, where the robber was given the money he demanded.
“This is just a street robbery, not a bank robbery,” the minister said.