The SSG claim’s the goal was to blame Georgia for potential terrorist acts.
The State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) on Monday said it had seized several units of special explosive devices and a “significant quantity” of explosive material allegedly originating from the Ukrainian city of Odesa and intended for transportation to Russia.
The agency said professionals of its Counter-Terrorism Centre had uncovered two electric car batteries, repurposed as containers during a search of a vehicle, with the batteries containing six “special explosive devices” concealed within them.
The bomb squad safely removed the devices and sent them for examination, the SSG said, adding that mock-ups had been placed in the containers so that undercover activities to monitor the package could continue.
The explosive devices contained the C-4 military-grade plastic explosive with a total weight of 14 kilograms, capable of being activated by electric detonators and special timers.
Additionally, the containers held six detonators and six special keys, with each explosive device housed in a separate box. The electronic timers were pre-programmed for activation.
The SSG claimed the devices and substances had originated from the Ukrainian city of Odesa before travelling through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey and arriving in Georgia on 19 January.
The Service said seven Georgian citizens, three Ukrainian nationals and two Armenian citizens were involved in the smuggling and transportation of the devices within Georgia.
It also named Andrey Sharashidze, a Ukrainian citizen of Georgian origin and former MP candidate for Odesa from the pro-EU ‘Servant of the People’ party, as an alleged organiser of the scheme. Others were potentially unaware of the devices concealed within the car batteries.
The body said its inquiry was looking to determine whether the devices left in Tbilisi were intended for use within Georgia or transportation to Russia.
“The details of the case and the factual situation raise suspicions that the involvement of Georgian citizens and the use of Georgian territory may have been orchestrated to shift blame for potential terrorist acts, whether within Georgia or abroad, onto Georgia itself,” the agency alleged.
The SSG noted it was investigating the case with articles of illegal purchase and storage of explosive substances and devices, which carry a penalty of three to six years of imprisonment, but it noted that the charges for preparation of terrorist acts could be added, elevating the penalty to 10 to 15 years in prison.