The Interior Ministry issued an official statement on the drug seizure carried out yesterday, in which the police commissioner of Prilep and the driver of a close relative of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev were caught smuggling marijuana. The Ministry said that the raid was carried out in cooperation with the US DEA agency, and that about 200 kilograms of marijuana, worth 800,000 EUR on the black market, were seized.

According to the statement, the key suspect is a 35 year old man from Strumica, identified only as D.J., who was organizing the transport and sale of the drug. A total of six people were charged, all identified by their initials, but it is widely known that the police commissioner of Prilep, Kiril Spirkoski, is among them. Another is Aleksandar Usilkovski, who is the personal driver to businessman Trajce Zaev, cousin of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and one of the three key people in the Zaev business empire (along with the Prime Minister and his brother Vice Zaev).

The drugs were transported in a van with one driver that was preceded by two cars, one carrying Spirkoski and the other Uslikoski, with another passenger. They were taking the drugs on the Prilep – Rosoman road, due north. The key suspect, D.J., was arrested in a separate raid near Gevgelija. After the drugs were seized, the police raided two marijuana plants, in Prilep and in Bitola, which cooperated with Uslikovski. The police report does not indicate how the criminal group operated and where the drugs were being sold. Under the Zaev regime, dozens of marijuana farms were opened, under the guise of producing the drug for oil extraction. It is widely assumed that they grow more potent cultivars, meant for smoking, and sell the product on the black market. Many of these plants were opened by Zaev cronies or relatives, and the involvement of Uslikovski indicates that the plants in Prilep and Bitola were connected to his boss, Trajce Zaev.

Raids were conducted on the homes of the suspects. The police found a large quantity of guns, weapons, grenades, gun parts and gunpowder in Uslikovski’s home in Skopje.