The scandal that is shaking the Macedonian Interior Ministry, which was issuing passports to regional drug lords, was already announced in the Serbian press several years ago.
In 2018, Serbian Politika daily reported that mobster Jovan Vukotic was using a Macedonian passport issued under a false name to travel and avoid being spotted. Vukotic was arrested in Turkey using the Macedonian passport, issued under the assumed name Georgi Andonov, and was extradited to Serbia. Vukotic is head of the powerful Shkaljarski clan.
He is one of the two high profile regional drug lords who received Macedonian travel documents. The other is Turkish mobster Sedat Peker, who was given a Macedonian identity card in 2021. The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party revealed the scandal to the public earlier this week, which prompted arrests in the Interior Ministry yesterday. Faced with calls for accountability for his own role in the scandal, Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski is claiming that he was actually investigating the group of about a dozen Interior Ministry officials, and that the VMRO press conference allegedly disturbed the “investigation”. The MoI issued passport to Sedat Peker three months ago, which means there was no investigation of any kind. Usually criminals don’t investigate themselves.