GEO

Offshore companies and other business connections of Bidzina Ivanishvili

02 November, 2018

 

At least 9 offshore companies and 70 organizations registered in Georgia are associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party (according to the Public Registry and various open sources). While private sector connections of a politician are not always illegal, they are a serious source of potential conflict of interest and corruption, especially in the case of the country's most influential politician. One of the main ways to prevent such risks is to shed light on these connections. This document aims to do just that.

Companies associated with the leader of the Georgian Dream have been involved in various high-profile cases on a number of occasions, including cases of political party financing, public property disposal and gifts received by public officials.

Examples outlined below indicate that:

  • The influence Bidzina Ivanishvili has on the government of Georgia holds a risk that companies associated with him will receive unfair (and possibly illegal) benefits and advantages from the state.
  • Private sector connections of Bidzina Ivanishvili also hold risks related to political party financing. As a rule, having big money come from a single source undermines healthy competition between political parties.

Therefore, we call on:

  • Bidzina Ivanishvili, as the most influential politician in Georgia and leader of the ruling party, to ensure full public disclosure of information about his business connections.
  • The Government to adopt a law ensuring access to beneficial ownership information. At the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016, the former Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced Georgia’s commitment to explore the feasibility of establishing a public central register of company beneficial ownership information.
  • The Civil Service Bureau to pay close attention to asset declarations filed by public officials associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili, and the State Audit Office to regularly oversee political donations made by persons associated with Ivanishvili.
  • Relevant investigative agencies to more effectively react to alleged violations of the anti-corruption legislation (e.g., the case of Deputy Minister of Agriculture Iuri Nozadze).

An overview of activities and connections of companies (and their owners) associated with the former Prime Minister and Chairperson of the ruling Georgian Dream party Bidzina Ivanishvili can be found below.

According to the Public Registry, the representative of all 9 offshore companies associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili is Kakha Kobiashvili, who, according to media reports, is Ivanishvili's nephew. In 2012-2018, persons associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili’s companies have donated close to half a million lari to the Georgian Dream.

Below is the information about 9 offshore companies related to Bidzina Ivanishvili and 70 companies owned by them.

The blog was prepared with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida)

corruption