Political donations of mining companies in Imereti and tenders won by them - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

Political donations of mining companies in Imereti and tenders won by them

21 December, 2023

TI Georgia has studied the involvement of companies that received a mining license in the Imereti region in the years 2019-2021 in public procurements and their support for political parties. These companies mine sand and gravel as well as granite, teschenite, limestone, basalt, and other mineral resources.                           

  • 56 of 140 licensees for mining operations (legal and natural persons) in the Imereti region are political donors and/or are involved in the public procurement process. The licenses were also received by companies connected with current and/or former public officials;
  • 25 companies that hold 37 different licenses and individuals connected with them have made donations of GEL 2,485,931 in total, most of which were received by the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party;
  • 26 companies with mining licenses are involved in the public procurement process, and they have obtained contracts worth GEL 757,566,585 in total.

Links of current and former public officials with license-holding companies: 

  • Bichiko Paikidze is a member of the Vani City Council from the Georgian Dream. He owns a 100% stake in B.P.TRANS. In 2016, Bichiko Paikidze personally donated GEL 12,000 for the benefit of the ruling party, and his company, B.P.TRANS LLC, obtained public procurement contracts worth GEL 26,226,116 in the years 2019-2021. Bichiko Paikidze has close ties with the Head of the State Security Service, Grigol Liluashvili (he is the godfather of Paikidze’s child), which has been described in journalistic investigations;
  • In 2014-2023, one more license-holding company, Georgian Energy LLC, obtained public procurement contracts worth GEL 31,562,630. Today, a 100% stake in the company is owned by Zviad Chkhobadze, although before he became the full owner of this company, his partner in the same company had been Bichiko Paikidze. Zviad Chkhobadze donated GEL 60,000 to the Georgian Dream in 2016;
  • One of the largest donating companies is N(N)LE Association Atu, whose director and members of the board – Rostom Chabradze, Eter Deminashvili and Bichia Demetrashvili – have donated GEL 168,000 in total to the Georgian Dream and to the campaign of Salome Zurabishvili. Association Atu is a company connected with Bidzina Ivanishvili. A member of the board of this company, Eter Deminashvili, was a member of the board of the Cartu Foundation until September 2017, and she has been a member of the board of JSC Cartu Group up to now. Atu obtained public procurement contracts worth GEL 3,613,464 in the years 2013-2021;
  • Road Construction LLC has a license for mining teschenite. This company has obtained public procurement contracts worth GEL 38,586,588 in 2017-2023. The company has three owners. Only one of them – Giorgi Gogiberidze, who owns a 34% stake – is a donor to a political party. In 2012, he donated GEL 60,000 to the then ruling party, the United National Movement. It is noteworthy that the owner of a 33% stake in the same company, Vazha Panchulidze, was the Head of the Roads Department in the years 2014-2015;
  • Yet another participant in public procurements is Black Sea Group LLC, which has received an income of GEL 446,673,239 by this method. The owner of a stake in the company, Giorgi Kalandadze (25%), is also a business partner of MP Beka Odisharia in Dzveli Dedakalaki LLC;
  • Kavkasenergo LLC holds a license for mining sand and gravel. The owner of a 100% stake in the company, Giorgi Molashkhia, has donated GEL 100,000 to ruling political parties and obtained contracts worth GEL 28,226,116 from public procurements. Giorgi Molashkhia’s business partner in another company (Trans Service LLC) is the Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament, Avtandil Enukidze. He became an MP on the ballot of the Alliance of Patriots.  

Political donations: 

Twenty-five companies with 37 different licenses and individuals connected with them have made donations of GEL 2,485,931, the recipient of most of which is the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party, although this list also contains companies that donated money in 2012 to the then ruling party United National Movement (UNM), though in later years they already made a donation for the benefit of the Georgian Dream.