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Police Detains 192 Drug Dealers in Ponichala

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, October 8
The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs has stated that in the 10 months of the year 192 drug dealers have been detained in the Ponichala district alone, in the outskirts of Tbilisi.

Police reported that several of the detainees have been involved in the selling of drugs in especially large quantities, which implies 8-20 years in prison or even a life sentence.

Of the 192 individuals, 7 were policemen and 13 were women.

Polichala has become one of the most challenging areas for the Georgian government in terms of drug dealing.

Ponichala, which is one of the districts of Tbilisi now, earlier belonged to the Gardabani municipality in eastern Georgia, where locals, mainly ethnic Azerbaijani, were engaged with agricultural activities.

One of the Ponichala residents L.M. told the Messenger that the area is now nicknamed as a “little Columbia,” where dozens of locals are busy with drug dealing.

“Ponichala has become a separate world. We [locals] know that the drugs are coming from Azerbaijan mostly.

“Sometimes police is afraid to take actions against some of the drug dealers. They [drug dealers] have huge houses and luxurious cars, such money comes from drugs and not greens [agriculture],” L.M. said.

L.M. says that many of the locals will be happy if the police show zero tolerance to the drug dealing.

“They will have to detain hundreds of locals, but it is necessary,” L.M.said.

The Interior Ministry claims that they will take tougher measures against drug dealing.