Giorgi Lortkipanidze admitted he had used this fake passport, and said many others who worked in the interior ministry were issued similar.

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s interior ministry is investigating one more attempt to jump the border with a fake passport.

The ministry says it discovered a suspicious passport issued in the name of Gocha Tsereteli, but the photo shows former Deputy Interior Minister Giorgi Lortkipanidze, who currently is deputy chair of the Security Service of Tbilisi City Hall.

Lortkipanidze has been questioned as a witness in the case, and confirmed that he had this fake passport for a certain period. He explained that other persons who have worked in the interior ministry may also have such passports where their personal data has been changed.

A week ago, former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili was leaving for Yerevan together with the president and a delegation. While at the border check at Tbilisi airport, a passport was handed to the border police which was issued in another name, but carried a photo of Merabishvili.

Border police determined it was fake, but let Merabishvili present his real passport and leave for Yerevan. Then, after his return Mr Merabishvili was questioned as a witness. No one was detained, but the investigation continues.

Thursday, the interior ministry also questioned Vano Tughushi, one of Vano Merabishivli’s security guards. He testified that he gave two passports to Vano Merabishvili on November 30, when he was leaving for Yerevan.