The FINANCIAL — According to Civil Georgia, a Georgian citizen kidnapped on February 7 was freed and four suspected abductors arrested as a result of “the special operation” by the South Ossetian law enforcement officers, the breakaway region’s deputy interior minister, Vitaly Gassiev, said.
The Georgian Interior Ministry said in a brief statement on February 8 that Malkhaz Beuklishvili “was released as a result of involvement of the Georgian side without paying any ransom.”
In remarks posted on the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee website on February 8, Gassiev said that Malkhaz Beuklishvili was in the Tskhinvali police station and would be handed over to the Georgian side after finalizing “certain procedural issues.” He also said that Beuklishvli felt well and he had a chance to talk with his relatives on the phone.
Later on the same day he was handed over to the Georgian side.
“The kidnapping was a purely criminal act and according to the information that we possess, abductors were demanding ransom,” Gassiev said. The Georgian media sources reported that USD 50,000 ransom was demanded.
The Georgian Interior Ministry said on Saturday that “a group of gunmen operating on the Russian-occupied territory” kidnapped a Georgian citizen after seizing a car on the Georgia’s main east-west highly early on February 7.
MP Givi Targamadze, the chairman of the parliamentary committee for defense and security, said that the release was a result of a good work by the Georgian law enforcement agencies; he did not elaborate further details.