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Managers, bankers arrested in last night’s police raids targeting cocaine trafficking ring

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More than a dozen of people accused either of running a complex drug-trafficking operation or buying cocaine were arrested Thursday night in a coordinated series of raids.

Police raided dozens of properties across Skopje and its outskirts as part of a major operation targeting cocaine trafficking.

Police task force, in cooperation with department for suppression of organized crime and serious crime, conducted multiple raids across Skopje late on Thursday, May 9. They busted a group of people involved in cocaine trafficking. The group is believed to have been selling the drug at a number of locations across the capital and other cities.

The overnight raids were part of a three-month investigation involving a four-member crime group operating in Skopje.

Four drug dealers who were arrested last night will be charged with unauthorized manufacture and release for sale of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors.

The investigation found that drug traffickers had acquired a lot of money which they had later invested in purchase of luxury cars, apartments and other immovable property.

The investigation also found that the group gave kickbacks to interior ministry staffers to get updated about police plans, and they received useful information on specific court proceedings against them.

Managers of coffee houses, night bars and restaurants, lawyers, directors, bankers and public administration are believed to have been buying cocaine from the above-mentioned group. As many as 12 cocaine buyers were arrested.

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Macedonia

Zaev-Avramova meeting: North Macedonia, Bulgaria boost economic cooperation and business ties

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Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Local Government Minister Goran Milevski on Tuesday hosted a high-level Bulgarian delegation led by Minister of Regional Development Petya Avramova.

At the meeting, PM Zaev said that two years after the signing of the Agreement on Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, a significant progress has been made in terms of bilateral cooperation and strengthening the political dialogue.

“The Government of North Macedonia is committed to pursuing the road investment strategy and setting up a modern road network, investments in water supply systems, environmental protection projects, and providing better quality of life for the citizens,” PM Zaev said.

“The investments encourage economic development and co-operation with neighbors within  investments in fields spanning agriculture, mining industry and other sectors,” he added.

The prime minister expressed gratitude on Bulgaria’s strong support for North Macedonia’s NATO and EU entry bid.

At the meeting, the interlocutors reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to driving forward the  projects of particular relevance, such as Corridor 8, as well as enhancing cross-border cooperation with support of EU funds.

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Macedonia

Janeva says she was summoned as witness and doesn’t feel guilt

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Katica Janeva, the outgoing SJO’s special prosecutor said on Tuesday she was summoned by organized crime prosecutor Vilma Ruskovska as a witness in ‘Racket’ case, adding that she feels no guilt.

The outgoing special prosecutor was questioned for four hours Tuesday as part of a probe into a high-profile racketeering case.

Exiting the Office Prosecuting Organized Crime and Corruption after the questioning in connection with extortion racket case, Janeva told the reporters that all dilemmas will be cleared in court.

“My phone was not formatted, and I don’t know if the investigation will be expanded. I don’t feel guilt. There will be a trial and you’ll have an opportunity to get updates,”Janeva told the reporters gathered outside the premises of law enforcement authority.

Asked by a reporter about Orce Kamcev’s whereabouts, Janeva said she didn’t know.

Janeva resigned as special prosecutor amid allegations of her involvement in a scheme to take kickbacks from a businessman charged by her office over corruption allegations. But, she remains in the post until a successor is appointed.

The scandal erupted in July when Bojan Jovanovski, informal owner of 1TV station, and his alleged accomplice, Zoran Milevski, were arrested on suspicion of extorting money from a  business owner Orce Kamcev in return for lighter sentence in another case. The two allegedly approached Kamcev and demanded that he pays an amount and he will be cleared of charges.

Katica Janeva is still the head of Special Prosecutor’s Office (SJO), which was set up in 2015 to investigate and prosecute criminal offences related to and arising from content of the illegally intercepted communication.

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Wait time at border crossings into Greece, Serbia up to 30 minutes

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Drivers encounter rising traffic jams while crossing the border into Greece at Bogorodica border checkpoint, and into Serbia at Tabanovce border checkpoint, AMSM said on Wednesday.

The estimated border wait times for entry into Greece and Kosovo – Bogorodica and Tabanovce – is 15 to 30 minutes.

Drivers, mainly holidaymakers, wait for up to 30 minutes to cross the border into Greece, although the frequency of outbound inspections decreased.

AMSM warns of heavy traffic jam over the weekend, in particular outbound congestions. Except for border into Greece and Serbia, there are no long queues at other border checkpoints.

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