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President Hails Anti-Crime Operation in Svaneti
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 Mar.'04 / 17:10

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili hailed today the anti-criminal operation held in Georgia’s western mountainous region of Svaneti.

“We will continue to struggle against criminal gangs in Georgia. Not a single criminal band will remain in Georgia,” President Saakashvili said on March 24, adding that no such bands will exist in Georgia during his governance.

Evgeni Aprasidze and one of his sons, Omekhi, were killed in a clash with the law enforcers this morning in a special forces operation conducted in the village of Etsera in Svaneti, officials said.

Dozens were arrested in a police round-up in the village. “This village was a stronghold and hideout of criminals for many years, but we cracked down on them today,” Mikheil Saakashvili said.

Interior Minister Giorgi Baramidze told reporters, “criminal gang led by Aprasidze clan was behind many high-profile criminal cases, including abduction of Levan Kaladze [brother of Georgian soccer player Kakhi Kaladze, whose whereabouts is not known yet].”

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