The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party accused Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of being at the helm of a drug cartel, after a week of major criminal scandals that included a seizure of 200 kilograms of marijuana from a farm the Zaev family is linked with and revelations that the Interior Ministry was issuing passports to regional mafia bosses.

The Zaev cartel turned Macedonia into a criminal state. Drugs are being produced and smuggled out of the country. The police commissioner of Prilep, appointed directly by Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski, and the driver of Zaev’s cousin Trajce Zaev were arrested escorting a shipment of marijuana. Were the drugs produced in a farm co-owned by the Zaev family? There is still no clarity in the ownership structure of the farm. The fact is that many of the marijuana growing licenses were issued to people close to the Zaev family and associated of the Government, VMRO-DPMNe said in a press release.

The Zaev regime enabled the opening of dozens of marijuana plantations, often ran by members of the “ruling family” or their cronies. Zaev himself incessantly talks about the financial benefits of the marijuana expansion, even as crime linked to the drug business began to expand in Macedonia and is now directly linked to his family. The marijuana is ostensibly grown for oil extraction, but it’s widely rumored that much of it is sold on the black market.