Georgian theft gang member jailed for four years

A Georgian national who formed part of a gang based in St Paul’s Bay that specialised in theft is jailed for four years

A member of a Georgian gang that stole from houses is jailed after court finds him guilty for 2018 robberies
A member of a Georgian gang that stole from houses is jailed after court finds him guilty for 2018 robberies

A 32-year-old man from Georgia has been jailed for four years after he was convicted of stealing from two homes and being part of an organised crime syndicate.

Magistrate Rachel Montebello found Elguja Bzikadze guilty of having stolen jewellery from a house in Balzan on 29 August 2018 and two days before that, stealing electronics and jewellery from an apartment in St Paul’s Bay.

Bzikadze was also found guilty of having formed part of a criminal gang specialising in theft, at the time.

One witness, a neighbour to one of the victims, told the court how, on 27 August 2018, while entering the common area of the block, she had come face to face with a man who she did not recognise as a resident, leaving the apartment block. She later recognised the accused as being the man in court.

She added that the man then crossed the road and watched the block, calling someone on his mobile phone. Soon after that she spotted another man going down the lift in the common area of the block, carrying some papers and a handbag.

Suspecting that something wasn’t right, the woman had checked every door in the block and found the penthouse front door open and the apartment ransacked.

A complex and in-depth police investigation led to the identification of two apartments in St Paul’s Bay which had been rented to Georgian nationals. When the police raided the properties, they found several persons from Georgia inside, including the accused.

Bags of gold items, rings, necklaces wristwatches and antique coins, together with stolen items relating to 14 different crimes were found in one apartment. Air tickets and travel insurance, tools and mobile top up cards were found in the other.

The court observed that the accused had rented two vehicles, later used for the burglaries, in his name and paid for them in cash.

 Bzikadze was, however, cleared of stealing jewellery and electronics from houses in Mosta and St Paul’s Bay in August due to lack of evidence. He was also not found guilty of setting up the criminal gang, as the evidence showed that the gang had been active long before his arrival in Malta.
Inspectors Lydon Zammit and Cristina Delia prosecuted. Lawyer David Gatt appeared for Bzikadze.

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