Zoran Zaev and his family have become a cannabis mafia, said VMRO-DPMNE spokesman Dimitar Arsovski, after the Government and the ruling SDSM party have failed to explain the move to issue a cannabis growing licence to the son of a local party boss who was recently sentenced for cigarette smuggling.

Zaev has approached the marijuana business as his own domain, with family members and close associates receiving licences to plant the drug, ostensibly for oil production, and rolling out the red carpet for shady international greentrepreneurs like Michael – Big Mike – Straumietis. The latest shocking development was the decision, through a Government decree issued using the powers given to fight the coronavirus epidemic, to give a cannabis licence to the son of Boro Stojcev, an SDSM official who had to resign as Mayor of Novo Selo after he and his family were caught smuggling cigarettes to Bulgaria.

SDSM and Zaev have remained silent for five days about this incident. This only confirms that they are directly culpable for the scandal. This indicates a serious level of corruption on the part of the Government that should be working on fighting the coronavirus epidemic, Arsovski said.

He pointed to two companies, linked to Stojce, who received marijuana licences. Arsovski called on the State Anti-Corruption Commission, the Constitutional Court and, of course, the public prosecutors, to investigate this move by the Government.