"I have never had contact with call centers" - founder of Formula TV
Call center case
For the first time founder of Formula TV and ex-Minister of Defense David Kezerashvili has cpommented on the so-called call center case, the investigation of which was published by the BBC. According to Kezerashvili, he never had and has no connection with call centers.
Asccording to Kezerashvili, in spite of the BBC’s high standard of journalism, it is a case case “in which I have a lot of questions on issues that concern me.”
“I declare with absolute responsibility that I have never taken part in such schemes, so I am not going to ignore the damage that this material causes me; politicized justice is being carried out against me and against Formula TV, created with my participation. This is a pre-election attack by the ruling party, which has been recognized as suchby several international organizations and US State Department reports.
I will use all legal means to prove both the falsehood of the facts and the false assumptions made as a result of their misinterpretation in material broadcast by the BBC and this will not take long. I have also always expressed my readiness and I am ready today to cooperate with the investigative structures of European countries on the topic of call centers, especially since I am a person in political exile and my place of residence is the UK, whose justice system no one doubts,” Kezerashvili writes.
- Court of Appeal upholds verdict against ex-Minister of Defense of Georgia
- Call center fraud: international criminal scheme uncovered in Georgia
On April 12, the BBC published an investigation alleging that former Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili may be connected to a fraudulent network that has earned more than a billion dollars by defrauding European citizens.
The network is known to police as the Milton Group. Police have identified more than 152 brands participating in the network.
As the BBC points out, most of those behind the scheme have have Georgian surnames and are likely Georgian citizens — David Todua, Rati Chelidze, Guram Gogeshvili, Iosif Mgeladze and Mikhail Benimini. These names appear in the Panama Papers and are associated with David Kezerashvili.
The BBC says it cannot document Kezerashvili’s connection to this fraudulent network, and investigative journalists were unable to find concrete evidence that Kezerashvili has a financial interest in the Milton Group brands.
However, journalists also mention other important details that, in their opinion, may indicate Kezerashvili’s connection with this case.
“Many trails lead to one figure — David Kezerashvili, a former high-ranking official of the Georgian government, who was the country’s defense minister for two years,” the BBC wrote.
Follow us – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
What is a call center?
The Georgian opposition and government have long accused each other of involvement in so-called “call centers”. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili talked about the guilt of a high-ranking official of the previous government, David Kezerashvili, and the chairman of the largest opposition party, the National Movement, Levan Khabeishvili, about the guilt of the head of the state security service, Grigol Liluashvili.
Citizens living in different European countries become victims of fraudulent activity of call centers. According to a predetermined plan, employees of the “call center” contacted citizens of Germany and other countries using false phone numbers, presented themselves with fictitious names, provided false information about the location of their company and offered to participate in electronic trading in securities, currency and cryptocurrency through fictitious electronic accounts with using platforms.
Operators assured users that with their help, in the case of electronic commerce, they would be able to make significant profits. After obtaining the consent of the user, the funds allocated for e-commerce were placed in bank accounts controlled by the criminal group.
The funds were then transferred by the group to the accounts of companies based abroad, from which they ended up in the accounts of companies in Georgia for a fictitious purpose, as if in exchange for services rendered.
Under this scheme, criminals laundered illegal proceeds in the amount of 9,490,991 euros, 716,642 dollars and 218,000 British pounds in 2021. Then the prosecutor’s office made an official statement about the disclosure of a transnational crime. According to her, the citizens of Georgia and Israel formed an organized criminal group with a structural form that acted in collusion, fraudulently seized “millions of euros belonging to German citizens and legalized illegal proceeds of crime.”