U.S. Embassy Assists Georgia in Migrant Smuggling Case

The U.S. Embassy’s Criminal Investigations Office provided assistance to our Georgian partners to investigate a migrant smuggling case.  Kutaisi City Court fully endorsed the evidence presented by the Prosecution and found a foreign citizen J. M. guilty of smuggling a migrant over the Georgian state border using forged documents and creating the relevant conditions for the migrant’s illegal stay in Georgia. 

The evidence that the Prosecution presented at the trial proved that on May 5, 2019, the Romanian citizen J. M. brought an Iranian citizen L. K. to Georgia through Tbilisi International Airport on an Istanbul-Tbilisi flight. During the airport check-in, L. K. used an Italian passport issued in the name of another individual, which J. M. had given to L. K. After having arrived in Georgia, J. M. checked L. K. into hotels in Tbilisi in Kutaisi at his own expense. Later, he purchased an airline ticket from Kutaisi International Airport to Italy and gave it to L. K. along with an ID card issued in the name of another individual to use upon arrival in Italy. 

As J. M. had already crossed the Georgian state border, on July 17, 2019, he was indicted in absentia under Article 3441 §2 (e) of the Criminal Code of Georgia (smuggling a migrant over the Georgian state border using forged documents and creating the relevant conditions for the migrant’s illegal stay in Georgia). Detention as a measure of constraint was imposed on the defendant and he was declared as a wanted person. 

Law enforcement officers arrested J. M. in the Republic of Greece on August 2, 2019. He was extradited to Georgia on October 11, 2020. 

Kutaisi City Court found J. M. guilty as charged and sentenced him to imprisonment for a term of six years.