On 19 July, the US Treasury Department placed North Macedonian businessman Jordan Kamchev on its sanctions list.
According to the website of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Kamchev was sanctioned for “engaging in corrupt activities, money laundering, and abuse of official position”.
According to the allegations, his corrupt actions have undermined public confidence and undermined the integrity of the justice sector and the rule of law in North Macedonia.
The US urged North Macedonia to continue to strengthen the rule of law, democratic institutions and the fight against corruption, which it believes is key to North Macedonia’s integration into European institutions.
Why was Kamchev sanctioned?
The US authorities explain that Kamchev has been involved in corruption, abuse of official position and money laundering since the early 2000s – more than a decade.
Kamchev was convicted in 2022 in the “Plecevi Vodno” affair for his involvement in a money laundering scheme related to the illegal purchase of land.
He pleaded guilty to serious abuse of official position in the “Imperija“ affair, in which he was suspected of criminal association, fraud, money laundering and other offences related to his business.
The US Treasury Department further points out that Kamchev used his corrupt influence and wealth to manipulate the judiciary in North Macedonia for personal gain.
In 2020, the head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), Katica Janeva, was accused of receiving bribes from Kamcev. She testified that the Macedonian businessman paid the money in exchange for more favourable arrest conditions and the outcome of the case.
Kamchev later filed a civil lawsuit against the lead prosecutor and others, claiming that he had been blackmailed.
A court in Skopje found that Kamchev was not an injured party and had no right to compensation.
Following the scandal, the Special Prosecutor’s Office suspended its work and the lead prosecutor, Janeva, was convicted and is serving a prison sentence.
As a result, many high-level corruption cases remain unresolved, delaying the accountability of many individuals who have engaged in corruption similar to Kamchev’s.
In January 2022, Kamchev was released from detention on a bank guarantee of €11 million.
He is co-owner of the private hospital “Sistina” in Skopje, as well as a number of other companies.
Kamchev, who was ranked one of the richest Macedonians by the US Forbes magazine, is also suspected of “criminal association” in the “Imperija” case, along with former secret police chief Saša Mijalkov.
Mijalkov was sentenced in first instance to 12 years in prison for mass illegal wiretapping in the “Target-Tvrđava” case and is in custody in Skopje at the request of the prosecution, which has information that he was planning to flee the country./RSE/