Human traffickers have earned a billion Euros

Balkan trafficking route again has “goods” for trafficking. This time it is the people of Syria. For promised Germany, Syrian refugees, only from the beginning of the year, have paid Turkish traffickers from a half to one billion Euros. Ahmed Kelani, teacher from Syria, paid $ 700 per person for the transfer of his family via Turkey. “I paid 5,600 Euros for my family of 6 members with two...

Lojane is no longer mecca for human traffickers

In Kumanovo the situation was more relaxed. First we stopped at the railway station. An employee in Macedonian Railways named Viktor informed us that the train would be in Kumanovo in half an hour, and in about 40 minutes at the border crossing point Tabanovce. We went to Tabanovce by car. As we passed the mandatory procedure for checking documents and permission to shoot, the train was already on...

Problematic players in the casino business

Owners of casinos in Macedonia are problematic. With imported hundreds of millions of Euros to the Macedonian border with Greece, casinos remind of gambling mecca, such as Macau, Estonia or Las Vegas. But what do heads of the gambling industry hide? Center for Investigative Journalism SCOOP Macedonia investigated the conflicts with the law of the owners of temples of dice in Macedonia, casinos Flamingo and Princess, as second part...

On the road with migrants: Germany via Gevgelija

The southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija has been synonymous with gambling for the past few years. But gamblers’ paradise turned into hell for hundreds of thousands of refugees and Macedonian policemen. Early morning, 4 o’clock. The train station in Gevgelija like a beehive. Migrants and refugees who want to reach their El Dorado, Germany via Macedonia, awaiting transport to the promised land. Mutual anxieties and squabbles stop when the...

Azerbaijan Jails Top Investigative Journalist

Investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who has written numerous hard-hitting stories on corruption in Azerbaijan, was sentenced Tuesday to seven and a half years in prison by the Azerbaijani authorities. The popular reporter, who worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and was a senior investigator for OCCRP, was convicted on charges of embezzlement, running an illegal business, tax evasion and abuse of power. Ismayilova insists she is being imprisoned for...

Macedonia becomes Balkan Las Vegas: low standards and too much gambling

  DOCUMENTS (Note: Documents for all companies are attached on links to their names. To view them click on link DOCUMENTS)     Macedonia is at the bottom of the list of Balkan countries by foreign direct investments. Official figures show that in 2013 Macedonia attracted only 251 million Euros foreign investments, Montenegro 350 million, Bosnia and Herzegovina 300 million, while the same year Kosovo registered 259 million Euros....

Poor municipalities hinder development outside the capital

Failing to comply with the Law on Balanced Regional Development and taking money from the concession of natural resources, the state economically exhausts the municipalities. These conditions revolt citizens from other towns. Stojan from Kocani is unhappy how the state allocates money. “Everything is built in Skopje. Nothing in the other parts of Macedonia. It seems that once Skopje 2014 has been launched, no penny has been given apart...

Мunicipalities operate only for administration’s salaries, not for the citizens

Instead of government closer to citizens, municipalities are increasingly becoming institutions operating only for administration’s salaries. The investigation by SCOOP Macedonia shows that the increase in the number of employees before each cycle of local elections has led to a situation where more municipalities encash taxes and generate income only for employees’ salaries. Very few funds remain for paving streets, maintaining parks, schools or other areas important to the citizens....