07TBILISI3004, INVESTIGATION OF IRAKLI RUKHADZE EXPLORES POSSIBLE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI3004 2007-11-30 13:20 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #3004 3341320
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 301320Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8347
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 003004 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CASC, EUR/FO, EEB/IFD/OIA, EEB/CBA AND CA/OCS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2017 
TAGS: PGOV CASC GG
SUBJECT: INVESTIGATION OF IRAKLI RUKHADZE EXPLORES POSSIBLE 
MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES 
 
REF: TBILISI 2978 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) The Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia, Nika 
Gvaramia, called DCM to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to 
give an update on the criminal investigation of American 
citizen Irakli Rukhadze.  Although Rukhadze has not been 
charged as yet, he is being investigated on suspicion of 
influence peddling (reftel).  Gvaramia had no new information 
about that possible charge, but he told DCM that the police 
have obtained records of Rukhadze's bank account and have 
been questioning him about suspicious transactions.  He 
pointed to one transaction in April 2006 where Rukadze 
apparently deposited USD 1.7 million in cash and immediately 
withdrew the equivalent amount in cash Georgian lari. 
Gvaramia said that such large cash transactions should be 
reported to Georgia's Financial Monitoring Service (FMS) as 
suspicious by the bank under Georgia's money laundering laws, 
but this one was not.  The bank's failure to report the 
transaction is not Rukhadze's fault, he said, but it raises 
questions about whether Rukhadze has failed to report income 
on his tax returns or is laundering money for someone else. 
Gvaramia said that when questioned about the 2006 
transaction, Rukhadze said he could not remember it, and 
seemed to be stalling for time to figure out the best way to 
answer the questions posed to him.  Gvaramia added that there 
are subsequent cash transactions, mostly in the range of USD 
100-200,000.00, in the records of Rukhadze's account that 
need to be examined closely. 
 
2. (C) By notifying the Embassy of the progress of the 
investigation, Gvaramia seems to want to be seen as sensitive 
to USG concerns about Rukhadze's case.  It would not be 
surprising if the GOG is upping the pressure on Rukhadze in 
the hope that he may become a material witness in a potential 
case against Badri Patarkatsishvili.  Nevertheless, Gvaramia 
said that Rukhadze is as yet free to leave the country if he 
wants. 
 
3. (C) Gvaramia also told the DCM that Badri Patarkatsishvili 
is shown by bank records to have withdrawn USD 12 million in 
cash from Standard Bank, which did not report that 
transaction to the FMS either. 
TEFFT

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