Georgia’s security service seizes explosive devices hidden in minivan destined for Russia

Counter-terrorism officers in Georgia have seized 14 kilograms of explosive devices that they said were being transported to Russia for use in a terror attack, the State Security Service of Georgia announced on Monday.

A minivan belonging to a Ukrainian national was stopped on the Turkish-Georgian border at Sarpi on 19 January, having passed through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, the statement said, adding that the vehicle had been travelling from the Ukrainian port of Odesa to the central Russian city of Voronezh.

When searched, the car was found to contain 14 kilograms of explosive devices, six detonators and six special keys hidden inside a cargo of car batteries the van was carrying.

Nationals of Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia are believed to have been involved. The State Security Service of Georgia said that it could not rule out the possibility that the explosives were intended for use in Georgia.

“Preliminary investigations show that all six of the explosive devices were made by an expert and designed to have a large destructive radius,” the agency said.

The agency also alleged that Andrey Sherashidze, a Ukrainian citizen of Georgian origin and an erstwhile local candidate for the ruling Servant of the People party in Odesa, had masterminded the transportation of the explosives, though investigators said they believed that those transporting the devices had been unaware of their cargo.

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