Early elections have finished, but still, the reminder of the fierce campaign days can still be seen in the big number of billboards that have not yet found new tenants. A lot is said in the public about the party expenses for media campaigns and propaganda. For the public especially attractive are the millions of state money that go on media accounts, followed by accusations for favoring left winged or right winged, its’ own or someone else’s media. Still, the selective messages of communication paid with state money have ended or were sealed onto the most of 531 billboards for which the state has paid almost 600 thousand euro to six political parties.
The business with billboards has always been attractive. In the past decade certain companies have literally made unfriendly take overs of other companies, while the political parties have rushed to secure their own firms in order to be better positioned during elections, that, in the last 10 years have been regularly organized each year.
For one to have an attractive billboard has always been important. The same as for the media, the elections are the golden dream for each owner of a billboard, especially now, with the changes in key laws that define the way of financing the elections, and has been brought “in four eyes” in the Club of parliamentary members with “amen” of the four biggest political parties and without public debate. If previously some firms have been politically blackmailed or have returned other favors to parties through donated billboards, now everybody has guaranteed right for payment because the state pays for all expenses and the receipts are being delivered to the State Electoral commission.
|билбоди||партија||сума (денари)||сума(евра)||вкупно евра|
|Скрин Медиа ДООЕЛ||Алијанса за Албанците и Алтернатива||149,494||2,431|
|Коалиција Обнова – ВМРО||4,848,643||78,840|
|Глас за Македонија||68,257||1,110|
|Коалиија Можеме – Сдсм||2,249,924||36,584|
|Акцент Медиа ДООЕЛ||ДПА||242,253||3,939|
|Алијанса за Албанците и Алтернатива||310,510||5,049|
|Граѓанско Демоктраска Унија ГУД||267,485||4,349|
|Коалиција Можеме – Сдсм||5,948,483||96,723|
|Коалиција Обнова – ВМРО||7,178,930||116,731||268,438|
|Лид Комјуникејшнс ДОО||Коалиција Обнова – ВМРО||1,279,982||20,813|
|Коалиција Можеме – Сдсм||1,850,393||30,088|
|Граѓанско Демоктраска Унија ГУД||53,973||878|
|ОК Медиа ДООЕЛ||Коалиција Обнова – ВМРО||1,720,499||27,976|
|Коалиција Можеме – Сдсм||2,866,414||46,608|
|ГРаѓанско Демоктраска Унија ГУД||134,933||2,194|
Small market, big “fish”
The State Electoral Commission through a draw has defined the locations whereas the political parties will promote their own candidates for the parliamentary elections. Nine firms have entered in the game whereas they offered their billboards and advertising panels for political advertisement. Some of them are giants In this business, some are smaller firms that work with small number of billboards, while some are anonymous in the marketing sphere. The investigation of Investigative reporting laboratory (IRL) that has started with an idea to discover which were the firms that will receive part of the party money for campaign, has led us to Russia and the businessman Sergey Samsonenko. And in this business with a network of people, there are firms, ownership of his friend, Jordan Kamcev.
Two out of nine firms offering the advertising panels for the elections are leaders in this marketing. “Skrin media” from Zhelino and “OK media” from Skopje. The first is being connected to the nephew of the late high functionary of DUI, Abdulakim Ademi, who has been a minister in the time when this firm has been established. He has been considered as a man of highest confidence by the leader of DUI, Ali Ahmeti, and the businesses were led by the nephew, Emledin Ademi.
The establishment of the firm and the high profits have initiated journalistic investigations, and the weekly “Fokus” has first revealed the connections of the party with the business.
The second firm is a daughter-firm of “Orka Holding” or, in other words, to Jordan Kamcev. These two firms have the most billboards throughout the state. The firm in Zhelino is established in 2008 and has more than 600 locations throughout Macedonia, most of them concentrated in Skopje.
Kamchev, in the marketing sphere officially enters in 2018, when, through his firm “OK Idea” is bying the firm “Kala Plakat” from Skopje. But, the documents from the Central Registry show that the same names that appear as founders and managers of “Kala Plakat”, and later in “OK Media” are connected with one other firm-“Lid communications”. This firm has also entered the draw of the State Electoral commission for the parliamentary elections. It has been founded in 2013 at the address “Skupi” 3A, the location of “Orka Holding”. It has been founded by the Bulgarian citizen-Maksim Moncho Behar and “OK Idea DOOEL”. Throughout the years it has had many changes, partners entered, shares have been sold, and the last change is in January this year when early parliamentary elections have been announced.
The owner of “Lid Communications” has become “Kala Media DOOEL”, a firm established the same month in January by Boban Velichkovski. In april this year “Kala Media” has bought “Impakt Trade DOOEL”.
The Russian friend of Samsonenko and Kamchev
“Imapkt trade DOOEL” is a new firm, established in December last year and the profile is to raise grain, legumes and oil. But as owner of “Lid Communications” now enters in the business of marketing and advertisement. The owner of “Impakt trade”, according to the documents from Central Registry is some person called Nimatula Bogavdinov from Romania. The search in the data basis of companies and firms throughout the world have connected the name of Bogavdinov with the Russian-macedonian businessman Sergey Samsonenko. Bogavdinov has been partner with Samsonenko in his firm with betting shops “Bet city”. And their partnership has been registered in England, whereas they have joint firm Cosabas LLP in London. Bogavdinov could be easily found on the social network Facebook ( социјалната мрежа Фејсбук), whereas there are pictures from Skopje, from the handball club Vardar and videos from Sergey Samsonenko.
In the last three years “OK media” has had profits of several thousand euro. In 2017 it has had profit of 258.000 euro, the next year-302.000 euro, аnd last year has reached the record of 513.000 euro profit.
Humble throught the years also starts “Skrin media” from Zhelino with profits of about twenty thousand euro per year. The business starts to grow in 2016 when the firm gains profit of 228.000 евра, аnd in 2019 ends up with pure profit of 552.000 euro.
At these elections which were first for Bogavdinov, his firm earns 66,495 euro. The biggest part of billboards have been rented by SDSM, then the second are VMRO DPMNE. The locations for billboards have been defined with draw by the State Electoral commission.
|Коалиција Обнова – ВМРО||1,279,982||20,813|
|Коалиција Можеме – Сдсм||1,850,393||30,088|
|Граѓанско Демоктраска Унија ГУД||53,973||878|
OK media and all Kamchev men
The firm “OK media” has been founded in 2006 by Krume Apostolov and Boban Velichkovski. The manager is Boban Velichkovski. The primary name of the firm is “Kala Plakat DOO Skopje”. In 2007 Boban Velichkovski has left the firm. He again returns in 2015 together with Viktor Belevski.
In 2015 the location of the firm is changing and has moved to “Kozara” 64B in Skopje. Again Velichkovski leaves, but Krume Apostolov and Viktor Belevski stay. In 2016 the firm is moving to Skupi 3A, the same address of the hospital “Sistina”. Krume Apostolov leaves the firm, the only one staying is Viktor Belevski.
In 2017, Blagoja Georgiev becomes owner, who is brother of Ana Kamcheva, the wife of Jordan Kamchev. The same year another partner enters-Nenad Josifovik, together with Belevski and Georgiev.
In 2018 the firm has another name-“Ok media DOOEL” and Georgiev, Belevski and Josifovik leave the firm. The only owner becomes „OK Idea DOOEL” (firm owned by Orka Holding) The manager is Sasho Nefovski.
The last change has happened in 2019 when Vladimir Josifovski comes on the place of Nefovski.
How Nimatula Bogavdinov becomes billboard manager
The firm “Impakt trade” is founded in 2013 at the address “Skupi 3A” in Skopje. The founder is the Bulgarian citizen Maksim Moncho Behar from Sofia and “Ok Idea DOOEL”, a firm owned by Orka Holding. The manager is Katerina Zafirovska. In 2015, the Bulgarian leaves and “OK idea DOOEL” stays. The same year “OK Idea” leaves and Zoran Ristovski enters as sole owner. In 2016 the location is moving to “Kozara” 64B/11. Zoran Ristovski leaves from the ownership of the firm and Stefanija Velickovska enters as sole owner. The next, 2017, Stefanija Velichkovska leaves the firm and Cvetanka Apostolova and Milorad Velichkovski enter. The same year Zlatko Piruze enters in partnership with Apostolova and Velichovski. In January 2020 these two leave and Piruze stays. Also, the firm “Kala Media DOOEL” (a firm based on 27th of January 2020 by Boban Velichovski) enters. As from april 2020 “Kala Media DOOEL” buys “Impakt Trade DOOEL”, whereas manager is Eli Nefovski.
The firm “Imapkt trade” is founded on 12th of December 2019. The address is 1737 24- 3. The owner is NImatula Bogavdinov from Romania. The profile of the firm is to raise grain, legumes and oil. IRL has made many attempts to get In contact with the owner through mail and telephone messages, but without success.
Sergey Samsonenko comes In Macedonia in the autumn 2006, just several months after the Nikola Gruevski party won elections. His first business are the betting shops “Bet city Balkan”. As of 2011, one of the employees is the ex parliamentary member of the Gruevski party, Aleksandar Pandov. Afterwards, the main manager for years and his right hand Is Ratko Kapushevski, member of VMRO DPMNE and ex manager of the sport hall “Boris Trajkovski”. He has not hidden the closeness to the ruling party back then-VMRO DPMNE because he appeared in a video of this party in 2014 whereas he gave open support to Nikola Gruevski.
“I have never asked anything from VMRO, and VMRO did not give me anything”, Sergey Samsonenko stated in a TV interview in 2016.
Samsonenko is known in public as a rich man, being estimated in an interview on a hunred million euro. Since his coming to Macedonia, his business has expended. Sport clubs, betting shops, milk and contruction industry, hotels…He has often been accused in the public that his business is blooming because of his closeness with the ruling party back then. His managers were connected to the party, but also “his closest friend and first neighbor in Macedonia”. He has spoken this for the businessman Jordan Kamchev, with which they live door to door in a private elite complex in the Bardovci settlement.
“No, no, no’, says Samsonenko, commenting his connection to Kamchev as business relation. “That is not true. Me and Kamchev are friends, neighbours, but we do not have joint busineses. I only entered Zdravje Radovo at one point and that was all”.