Acting upon the established irregularities, in January and February 2018 the Customs Administration of the Republic of Macedonia filed criminal charges for 11 cases against 4 legal entities and 10 individuals. The charges were brought on grounds of reasonable suspicion that the following crimes had been committed: "Unauthorized production and release of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors", "Smuggling", "Forging Document"" and "Violation of Industrial Property Rights and Unauthorized Use of another company". 

Unauthorized production and release of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors

Criminal charges were filed for two cases against two individuals for "Unauthorized production and release for sale of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors", of which:

  • Criminal charges were filed to the Public Prosecutor's Office Veles against a Greek citizen E.P, who on 28th January 2018, declared a truck with Greek registration plates to enter the country at the border crossing point Bogorodica. The vehicle was selected for detailed inspection, which resulted of 6 kg of marijuana concealed in 75 bags with rice. The suspect was brought before a preliminary procedure judge at the First Instance Court in Veles, who ordered 30-day a detention measure.
  • Criminal charges were brought to the Public Prosecutor's Office Kumanovo against a Bulgarian citizen R.B, who on 25.01.2018, arrived at the border crossing Tabanovce Motorway, exit section with a car with Bulgarian license plates During the inspection of the vehicle, the customs officers found 71 packets with marijuana, weighing 17.7 kg, concealed in a specially made bunker. The suspect was brought before a pre-trial judge at the Basic Court Kumanovo, who ordered a 30-day detention measure.

Smuggling

Criminal charges were filed for three cases against three individuals for Smuggling“:

  • Criminal charges were brought against a Turkish citizen R.S. to the Public Prosecution Gevgelija who, on 03.01.2018 as a driver of a bus with Turkish license plates arrived for entrance into the Republic of Macedonia at the Bogorodica border crossing point and during the inspection of the bus, the customs officers found larger quantity of undeclared seed material (for tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and red pepper) worth 991,500 Denars, concealed in his luggage. This way, the suspect attempted to avoid customs control and to smuggle undeclared goods of larger

The suspect was brough before a preliminary procedure judge at the First Instance Court Gevgelija, where after the suspect pleaded guilty as charged, a verdict was passed to fine him and to expel him from Macedonia with prohibition to enter the country during the next two years.

Criminal charges were brought against a Macedonian citizen T.M before the Public Prosecutor's Office Kumanovo, who entering the Republic of Macedonia at the border crossing point Tabanovce Motorway on 31 January 2018, as passenger in an Italian registered car attempted to smuggle gold jewelry of different types and sizes, two liras and a second-hand watch ROLEX-TUDOR. The goods were found in his front jacket pockets, wrapped and tied in socks. The total value is estimated to 29,000 EUR. The suspect was brought before a pre-trial judge at the First Instance Court Kumanovo where a precautionary measure – seizure of passport was imposed.

  • Criminal charges were brought to the PO Gevgelija against C.J. - Macedonian national. On 13.02.2018, as a driver of a freight motor vehicle with Macedonian license plates, arrived at the Bogorodica border crossing point, exit section. He claimed that the vehicle is empty, but during inspection of the container loaded on the trailer, the customs inspectors found 350 packages of frozen chicken meat, originating in Brazil, worth 337,881 Denars. This way, the suspect attempted to avoid customs control and to smuggle goods of greater value. The goods, subject to the crime, as well as the means of transport used were seized.

Falsifying document
Three criminal charges were brought against three legal entities and four natural persons on suspicion of committing a criminal act "Falsifying a document", out of which:

  • Criminal charges were brought to PO Gevgelija against a legal entity from Skopje and the individuals B.J and V.P., - Macedonian On January 19, 2018 at entry in the country at the Bogorodica border crossing, the suspects, transporting goods with a Macedonian registered truck, presented to the customs officers a Certificate for transport of goods by road with a customs seal, but the customs officers noted a correction on the date of validity, i.e. the date of issue and the validity of the certificate were erased with a paper corrector and a pen. The date 10.02.2018 was entered as the date of issue, and the date 20.02.2020 was entered as date of validity of the certificate.
  • Criminal charges were filed for two cases to the PO Ohrid and the PO Skopje, against two legal entities, one with a head office in the village of Zlesti, Belchishta and the other in Skopje and against their responsible persons M.J. from Zlesti, Belcista and S.J. from Skopje.

    In the first case, on 24.11.2016, with one customs declaration metal stands and used boards, originating in the Federal Republic of Germany were cleared at the Customs Office Ohrid, for the needs of the registered legal entity from the village of Zlesti Belchishta.
  • In the second case, on 29.09.2017, a second hand vehicle at the Volkswagen 2.0 D, originating from the Federal Republic Germany was customs at the Customs Office Skopje 3, for the needs of the registered legal entity from Skopje.

At the time of import, both importers presented invoice declarations of preferential origin of the goods, subject to import and the two importers were granted preferential tariff treatment, whereby the products were relieved from import duties. Due to suspicion of the authenticity of the presented proofs of preferential origin, the Customs Administration requested additional verification from the foreign customs authority, who answered that the exporters of the products have not issued nor signed the respective declarations of origin in the invoices. This way, the registered legal entities and their responsible persons in the customs procedure of import used the false proofs of origin as real, thus committing the crime which they are charged for.

 

Violation of industrial property rights and unauthorized use of another company

  • Criminal charges were brought for three cases to the PO Skopje against a legal entity from Tetovo and its responsible person, a Macedonian citizen from Tetovo, due to reasonable suspicion that in three separate cases they committed a crime “Violation of industrial property rights and unauthorized use a another company, i.e. unlawfully imported products, subject to protection of industrial property rights, with the intend to deceive buyers.

In the first case, on 6 October 2017 at the Customs Office one import customs declaration, goods originating in the Republic of Turkey were declared for import. During the inspection, the customs officers found 826 pieces of clothing (blouses, pajamas, shirts, jeans, underwear and children and adult tracksuits) bearing logo of protected trademarks. Due to reasonable suspicion that the said goods violated the intellectual property rights, the Customs Administration temporarily seized the goods in question and initiated a procedure for verification of its authenticity. After inspecting the goods, the representatives of the protected trademarks informed the Customs Administration that they have received acknowledgement from the holders of the industrial property right that 117 items of the seized gods are counterfeit.

In the second case, on 12 October 2017 for the needs of the legal entity, goods originating in the Republic of Turkey were declared for import clearanmce at the Customs Office Skopje 1,. During the inspection, the customs officers found 95 pieces of clothing (shirts and blouses) bearing logo of protected trademarks.

In the third case, on 04 December 2017, for the needs of the declared legal entity, goods originating in the Republic of Turkey were declared for import clearance at the Customs Office Skopje 4. During the inspection, the customs officers found 329 pieces of clothing (blouses, hoodies, sweaters, tracksuit tracks, caps and scarves) bearing logo of protected trademarks.

Due to reasonable doubts that the above mentioned goods violate intellectual property rights, the Customs Administration seized the goods and initiated a procedure for verification of their authenticity. Following the verification, the representatives of the protected trademarks informed the Customs Administration that they have received aacknowledgement from the owners of the industrial property right that the seized clothes are counterfeit.