Large police raid was carried out across Macedonai today, in which a group of businessmen involved in marijuana production and smuggling were detained.

Reportedly the group includes a former local SDSM party politician from the area of Strumica, who was charged in the past with cigarette smuggling to Bulgaria. A total of 10 persons were arrested, four in Gevgelija, three in Strumica, two in Struga and one in Demir Kapija. Four locations these places, plus Bitola, were raided, during which the police seized a significant quantity of narcotics.
Marijuana production expanded greatly under the Zaev regime, often by companies directly linked to him or his cronies. The manufacturers should be using the marijuana for oil extraction, but there are strong indications that the real purpose of the business is to smuggle the drugs to the neighboring countries, to be sold on the black market.

Under Zaev such police raids were very rare, even after a large transport involving a top police official from Prilep and a person close to the Zaev family was intercepted in 2021.

The Interior Ministry is now under management of a VMRO-DPMNE appointed official, Pance Toskovski, and the political protection that marijuana smugglers enjoyed under Zaev is expected to begin to crumble.