More details are surfacing in the shocking news that Macedonian actress Silvija Stojanovska, widow of beloved actor Nenad Stojanovski and mother of their also actor daughters Ana and Jana, was charged with helping smuggle a huge quantity of cocaine into Europe.
It’s still not clear what precise role Silvija played in the major drug transport that was apparently engineered by her friend Voislav Budisavljevic, who has a lengthy record in similar crimes. According to one report, the arrests are related to the seizure of a cocaine carrying submarine in November. The final destination of the vessel, which set sail from Columbia, was the United Kingdom, and the haul, estimated at between 700 kilos and up to three tons, was expected to fetch 100 million USD. The Spanish security services, their colleagues from the US and elsewhere were reportedly involved in following the vessel and the people linked to it. Silvija reportedly withdrew money for the group, organized hotel rooms and did other logistics. She is now in house arrest, a decision which shocked some experts, given the size and value of the drug haul.
Stojanovska is an outspoken supporter of the ruling SDSM party. She was a constant feature of the SDSM led Colored Revolution in 2015, during which the leftist party was promising to fight crime and corruption. She currently stars in the USAID funded program The Markovski Family, meant to raise issues such as corruption, crime, LGBT rights…
Budisavljevic and his brother, who lives in Spain, are believed to be the main organizers. In 2010 he was allegedly involved in smuggling Peruvian cocaine to Macedonia, sold through a local celebrity smuggler of designer clothes. The drugs were hidden in boxes that were labeled “porcelain paint” and diistributed through Germany. In 2013, Voislav Budisavljevic was arrested in Belgium and extradited to Macedonia to serve three and a half years in prison.
After the arrest, Silvija Stojanovska received one endorsement she probably didn’t hope for – a kind message from Stanislava Cocorovska, who held the previous domestic record for the largest cocaine transport. Cocorovska was arrested in 2007, after nearly half a ton of cocaine was found in a shipment fo paint from Venezuela entering Macedonia from Kosovo. Cocorovska was sentenced to 14 years in prison, and released after 10.
Half of Belgrade is in prison but nobody is badmouthing those arrested. They have class, unlike Skopje, Cocorovska opined after the news of Stojanovska’s arrest instantly became the most talked about event in Skopje. “Only Silvija Stojanovska knows the truth about the cocaine. Who are you to judge her in the cafes and on the streets, without knowing the facts? Why should she be held accountable to you?”, she added.