On 31st October 2017, the customs officers of the border crossing point Blace, entrance section, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior seized nearly a ton of marijuana, which is the greatest seizure of drugs in one case in the Republic of Macedonia.

The drugs were found in a freight motor vehicle with Macedonian license plates, driven by E.B. (37) from Skopje.

At a press-conference, held today (November 1, 2017) at the Blace border crossing point, the Director General of the Customs Administration, Mr. Gjoko Tanasoski and the Minister of Interior, Mr. Oliver Spasovski gave statements to the media.

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Customs Director General, Mr. Tanasoski, gave an account of the details of the seizure. After the vehicle was declared for initiation of a transit procedure, the customs officers selected it for detailed examination. Shortly after, the customs agent informed the customs officer that the driver of the vehicle had left the customs terminal and departed in an unknown direction, leaving the vehicle, the goods and his passport with the customs authority.

Following consultations with the Public Prosecutor, in order to observe the legal deadlines laid down in the Customs Law, the customs officers inspected the trailer of the vehicle that was loaded in Kosovo with pressed paper and having the Republic of Turkey as final destination. During the inspection, with the removal of several waste paper bales, in the middle part of the trailer, more precisely in the space between the bales, the customs officers found 839 packages wrapped in transparent plastic foil of different shape, size and weight, filled with green plant, that on a drug tester showed presence of marijuana.

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The seized drugs, destined for the Turkish narco market would reach 4 million Euros.

After the case was taken over by inspectors from the Investigation Department of the Customs Administration, and with an order of a public prosecutor, the substance was immediately sent for analysis, whereby it was confirmed that it is marijuana.

Interior Minister, Mr. Spasovski congratulated the customs and police officers on the successfully conducted action and stressed that this is a confirmation of the Government's commitment to a serious and unselective fight against crime and corruption in the country.

-This action shows that this Government, the Ministry of Interior and the Customs Administration are determined, and that message should be clear, drugs and arms trade and all other illicit trade will be hit, said Minister Spasovski.

Authorized customs inspectors, together with members of the SIA Skopje, searched the home of the suspectwith a warrant issued by a judge of the pre-trial procedure. The pre-trial procedure is ongoing and evidence is being collected for the criminal procedure.

Against the suspect who is on the loose and unavailable to the prosecution authorities, the Customs Administration will press criminal charges to the competent prosecutor's office, due to reasonable suspicion that the suspect E.B. committed "Unauthorized production and release for sale of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors", punishable under Article 215 of the Criminal Code.