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Security Service Detains a Man for Assistance of Receiving Bribe in Large Quantities

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 6
The Anti-Corruption Department of the Georgian State Security Service has detained a Deputy Director of Ltd. Regional Healthcare Center Nugzar J. for assistance in receiving bribes in large quantities for the former Head of the State Regulatory Agency for Medical Activities of the Ministry of Health of Georgia Gia Tvalavadze.

The State Security Service reported on Tuesday that Tvalavadze, who was detained in September, was covering for the illegal sale of psychotropic drugs in several pharmacies and the pharmacy owners and directors paid him a monthly bribe with the help of Nugzar J.

The state body says that the income received through the offense amounted to more than 4 million GEL.

Tvalavadze, who does not admit to the crime, says that he had no connection with Nugzar J, and steadily claims that he is innocent.

The Georgian State Security Service stated in September that Tvalavadze supported the illegal sale of drugs in 15 different pharmacies in Tbilisi and Gori and was receiving a share from the illegal activity.

The State Security Service said that the 20 people involved in the alleged offense had received more than 4 million GEL benefit through the sale of drugs, “affecting the state interests.”

If convicted the detainees, except Tvalavadze and Nugzar J., may be sentenced to three-five years in prison.

Tvalavadze and Nugzar J will be facing tougher punishments than others as together with the illegal entrepreneurial activity by a group they are also being charged with official power abuse.

The Georgian Health Ministry reported that they are waiting for the outcomes of the investigation.

“We hope that the investigation will establish the full picture in the shortest period of time, enabling us to defeat the pharmacy drug addiction. As for Gia Tvalavadze, the court will bring a final verdict about him,” the ministry representative said.

The Georgian Dream ruling party lawmakers stated that “everyone is equal before the law,” and said that state government “is intolerant” to drug crimes.

Selling of psychotropic drugs is allowed only with prescriptions.