VMRO calls on prosecutors to expand their investigation into the “mafia passports” scandal

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VMRO-DPMNE called on state prosecutors to expand the investigation into the “mafia passports” scandal, including on the fact that Turkish mobster Sedat Peker was given police escort while he was in Macedonia in late 2020 and early 2021. The Interior Ministry was found to have issued 214 fake passports to regional and European mafia figures, hitmen and ISIS commanders, including an identity card issued to Peker under a false identity. While sheltering in Macedonia, Peker was meeting officials from the ruling coalition, businessmen close to the SDSM party and had police officers in his escort.

The prosecutors reduced the investigation to the narrowest possible frame and charged only a dozen low level clerks in the Ministry, who are being blamed for the entire operation spanning years and involving high level mafia types. The speed with which the defendants accepted guilt and received low sentences only increased suspicion in the affair.

  • We can’t have 214 criminals receiving Macedonian documents, arriving to the country, flying out of Macedonia, and to have only a few clerks who snap pictures and issue passports held responsible. Is it normal that the prosecutors are not investigating additional angles to this scandal?, the opposition party asked.

In a video statement, Peker said that he even met with “the leader of that country at his home” while in Macedonia – an apparent reference to Zoran Zaev.