The Department for Suppression of Organized and Serious Crime and the Department for Internal Control, Criminal Investigations and Professional Standards from the Ministry of Interior – MOI, of North Macedonia, in cooperation with a public prosecutor, suppressed a criminal group whose members, employees at MOI, have abused their positions and have issued Macedonian travel documents by misusing other people’s identities, informed Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski. He also said that support in the investigation was provided by the Regional Office for Security and Investigations at the US Embassy in Skopje and Interpol’s General Secretariate – Lyon and Interpol – Skopje.
“After it received criminal-intelligence information and after additional police operative measures were undertaken, in 2019, the Department for the Suppression of Organized and Serious Crime, a criminal investigation was started about officials employed at MOI as chiefs of divisions and supervisors, who have abused their authority and authorizations by issuing Macedonian travel documents to foreign nationals. They have used identities of citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia who up to the moment of issuing didn’t own biometric personal documents. The officials have committed the crimes with actions against the enactments in the Procedure for Issuing Travel Documents, Visas, and Evidencing of the Law on Travel Documents to citizens of the RNM. Thus they have allowed a total of 215 persons, out of which 214 are foreign nationals and one Macedonian national, to obtain Macedonian travel documents under a false identity. Supporting the criminal network was a person that doesn’t have any official authorizations, but is a mediator between the people who requested traveling documents with a false identity and the officials,” said Spasovski.
It was determined that part of these people were members of international organized crime groups, narcocartels, persons involved in other serious criminal acts i.e. these were high-risk profiles and persons against whom international warrants were issued using other identities.