New events unfold surrounding controversial construction of new Anaklia port in Georgia
The Georgian Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure received an open letter from Georgian businessman Temur Karchave, in which he expressed his willingness to build a new port in Anaklia. In exchange, he wants the land that he allegedly owns in the construction area to be returned to him.
This is a project of strategic importance for the country and has been accompanied by a major scandal.
The Anaklia Deep Sea Port in Western Georgia was to be built by Anaklia Development Consortium, a company owned by renowned businessman and banker, Mamuka Khazaradze. The US made significant investments in the project.
However, when Khazaradze became part of the opposition, the government broke the contract and halted construction.
Georgian authorities say that the company did not comply with the terms and conditions of the project. Many experts, as well as Western politicians, claim that the Georgian authorities used the project to persecute political opponents. Construction being halted was one of the reasons prompting the warning from prominent American politicians that the United States could reduce or suspend investment in Georgia.
Temur Karchava writes in his request that he is ready to implement a large-scale project for the construction of a new port and can attract American, British and Chinese investment partners.
Karchava brings up the fact that he participated in the bid for the construction of Anaklia, where the company was beat out by opposition leader Mamuki Khazaradze.
The little-known businessman Karchava, however, stipulates that 2,100 hectares of land be returned to him near the port construction site. According to him, this land was illegally confiscated from him during the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili.
Criminal proceedings have been opened against Saakashvili in Georgia The ruling party “Georgian Dream” and its leader, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, consider him and his party, “National Movement,” to be their vicious opponents.
Who is Temur Karchava
Karchava is from the city of Zugdidi in Western Georgia. He made his fortune in Russia, where he lived until 2004 and owned a chain of restaurants and the casino VIP National Club.
Karchava’s life in Russia ended with a 1 year 9 month prison sentence.
After serving his sentence, Karchava moved to live in London.
In Georgia, he is largely unknown. In 2009, during the reign of Saakashvili, he received a contract for a project to build the port of Anaklia, which was just beginning. The project also included the construction of an airfield for cargo aircraft, a railway and all of the road infrastructure.
Karchava was supposed to invest $ 5 billion, and in return he received 300 plots of land with a total area of 2.113 hectares.
However, in 2010, Karchava made a deal: he sold his company for around a thousand dollars to Olimp Management, an offshore company, and a few days later he was appointed head of his former company.
The relationship between Karchava and the Georgian authorities has deteriorated. In the summer of 2012, the government accused him of breaking the contract and demanded $100 million from Karchava.
The court granted this claim and the company’s property was confiscated.