Macedonia and Organized Crime
Organized crime in Macedonia does not present such a big problem as in neighbouring Albania.
There are around 10 influential criminal groups in which both Macedonians and inhabitants
from neighbouring countries are engaged and which operate on transnational level. The struc-
ture of these groups is mainly hierarchical. Macedonia is a transit country mainly for heroin
from Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent, for cocaine from South America bound
for Western Europe. Drug production in Macedonia is not a sui generis problem and we can
only talk about marijuana production for personal use.
Regarding human trafficking, up until recent times Macedonia was only the country of origin
and transit; lately it has become a destination country as well. The reason could be the activities
of the international community in this country - the operation of the international organisations
and the related increase in demand by a wealthy clientele for prostitution. In addition to local
prostitutes, there are around 1500 to 2500 foreign women under the control of the Albanian
gangs.56 These women come into Macedonia via Bulgaria and are further trafficked to Albanian
and to the Western European markets of the sex industry.57
Similarly as with neighbouring countries, Macedonian organized crime deals in car theft, traf-
ficking of human beings and cigarettes. Money laundering and the engagement of state officers
and security forces58 in organized crime activities is quite common. Nevertheless, Macedonia is
among countries in the region with the lowest number of organized crime groups and the situa-
tion is comparable to that in Croatia.
Transparency International placed Macedonia at 105th position, with a corruption index of 2.7.
This is second-to-last position, ahead of Albania, among the Western Balkan countries in
2006.59 In 2004 the murder rate declined and there was not a single murder which was politi-
cally or ethnically motivated.60
Unlike in the other states in the region, on the Macedonian side there were no (para) military
forces with a majority membership from the criminal population. The only disputable groups
were Lions (Lavovi), some of whose members allegedly had connections to the OC groups.
However, the same may not be said about the Albanian side, where the National Liberation
Army (NLA, Albanian acronym UÇK) was living off the profits of OC activities.
The situation in Macedonia is closely connected to developments in the Kosovo issue. Even
though the Albanians from Macedonia achieved everything they had demanded during the
1990´s with the Ohrid Peace Agreement, one could still observe from time to time the activation
of some radical groups demanding the formation of Greater Kosovo or even the almost forgot-
ten Greater Albania.61 Unless the Kosovo issued is solved, the country cannot start its way to-
wards consolidation and implementation of tough policies aimed at eradicating OC groups in
http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... aXn_mDGQ9w
On a side note, I call BS. There was four stages of modern organized crime in Macedonia.
1. During the Communist era, aka under Yugoslavia, particularly during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, organized crime groups pretty much functioned under a secret society type rule and order very similar to that of the Vori V Zakone in the Soviet Union. Often people were thrown in prison for attempting to smuggle drugs, clothes, guns, whatever - from Italy into Yugoslavia. Others were thrown in prison for engaging with criminals, committing murders and bank robberies. During this time, most Macedonian organized criminals engaged in the activity abroad; especially France. As the fall of Communism came, from here it split into two scenarios: The Communist/Socialist enterprises were privatized and inherited, or the known criminals, smugglers, murderers and dealers became the new mafia bosses.
2. The fall of Yugoslavia = Collapse of the Soviet Union = Bulgaria = Albania. As Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, all the same events took place during the same time. The Socialist/Communist umbrella companies that ran all of the legitimate industries in Macedonia 'privatized'. Their owners, being heads and directors of these companies, embezzled, laundered and defrauded the companies into Capitalism(aka privatization) by stealing billions of German marks. Their sons or nephews are now the known Macedonian mafia bosses. On the other hand, there was others who committed crime during the Communist era and were constantly being harassed by Yugoslav authorities for being who they were. These were the guys that traveled abroad, or the ones who spent the majority of their adult lives in prison and were released after Yugoslavia fell apart.
3. The wars. During the wars, more and more people were packing up to go west. Some because it was wars, others, in Macedonia for example, were feeling more tension and tension and had a bad feeling as things were gonna explode into anarchy. Macedonia during the Yugoslav era was paradise on Earth. Our parents all got along like it was Gone with the Wind. As soon as the 90's began, people started losing trust in each other and shit happened. A lot of the people you grew up with and have known your entire life - you began to lose trust in them, everybody was in a rush, everybody and everything was changing and because the wars were still on no one knew if shit like that would spill into Macedonia. Example - In 1991, a known dealer took over the biggest restaurant and nightclub in my town. Before that, he was working alongside the Bulgarians and Serbs - as most Macedonian criminals did during Communism. In 1991, things changed. He hooked up with Albanians and began in the drug trade. In 1995 I remember seeing him with Russians. In 2001, the same year as the war, the Ministry of Interior had the special police forces raid the nightclub for drugs - or as that story goes...the man OWNS the police force, on another side he could've easily staged a raid and seizure so the prices would up in the region temporarily and he could make a couple million marks more quicker and then plan on. It was literally abandoned and torn to shreds by junkies who were pissed off because they didn't have a place to buy the good stuff anymore. In 2003, he took over the hotel - formerly under the Socialist umbrella company Red Star(who's owner back then is dead may he rest in peace but his son literally won the same restaurant the dealer took over in a poker game and was forced to sell it after going bankrupt into gambling debts) - and under the same name as that fashion company Astibo. One of his old dealer buddies was put as the owner with his younger brother as the co-owner and the dealer himself just as the owner of a bar under the hotel. That place itself, visible from my window atm, what a wonderful sight, is one of the biggest locales as in places - hubs - for organized crime in the entire Balkans. The amount of gangsters and their combined wealth that come there to do business each week from all over the world is enough to colonize Mars.
4. Post 2001. As tensions cooled down as time passed, now 2010, Macedonian and Albanian criminals are effectively intermarrying. During the Communist times, the criminals were known by everybody and they were few, but they were strong. During the privatization process, it was complete chaos. As the Communist party fell, some extreme Communists who knew of what some of their fellow compatriots in the umbrella companies were planning threatened them - some of them were so scared they committed suicide. During the wars, things began to get out of hand. 2001-2004 - things EXPLODED! Now, you have no idea who you can trust. There's mean mugs for criminals on every corners it's literally impossible for somebody to complain. Everybody prefers peace over violence - regardless of age old aggressions and conflicts between them. There's too many sides - it's literally impossible to just say I'm with them because everything is interwebbed. The people themselves have a formality system of ruling out bad eggs and punishing people for mistakes let alone the hardcore mobsters. If you fuck up with too many people and tons of them abandon you until you literally go from shaking hands every 10 seconds with somebody on the streets to wandering around like a lost soul, being ignored or having random people be hostile to you, then you know it's time to do the old school thing: Exhile or death. If you keep on insisting on vandetta, the more the people who loved you dearly will find it easier to let go of you and easier to hurt you. If you go away for awhile, people won't care. No need for bullets, bombs or knives - the simple isolation in a smaller place will kill you as time goes by. But if it ever came to violence - that's the scary part. Mafia says: We'll break your arms and legs and you'll disappear. That means they'll break your arms and legs, put you in a trunk, drive out to the wilderness which isn't very far from the cities and isn't very nice either - they'll throw you in some valley or forest, the police will rule out that the fall broke your arms and legs. If you survive the fall, being an isolated ugly place, the only living beings that will hear your cries for help are the predators of the night which effectively will make you go poof. Some fucking goat herding could come by your blood stains eventually and rule out that one of those fucking wolves ate one of his sheep again.