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This Week’s Highlights From OCCRP – 14 June 2017


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How Macedonia’s Scandal-plagued Nationalists Lobbied America’s Right And Pulled Them Into An Anti-Soros Crusade

Until late last year, a mention of Macedonia in the halls of power in Washington, DC, would most likely elicit only shrugs.

But things have changed. In recent months, America’s right has become fervently interested in what one writer termed a “battle royale” within the tiny Balkan country. On one side is Macedonia’s conservative former ruling party, portrayed by its newfound U.S. supporters as a staunch defender of free markets and traditional morality. On the other, they say, are nefarious left-wing opponents backed by billionaire financier George Soros.

Hiding In Plain Sight: Wanted Pair Remains Free In Diplomatic Face-Off

Two men convicted of serious crimes—one of attempted murder, the other of soliciting a murder—are free because the Czech Republic and Armenia can’t agree to swap the criminals in the interests of justice.

It is unclear whether a simple bureaucratic tangle is to blame or if the two countries are thwarting each other on purpose, but the end result is that justice is not being served.

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News Highlights

The Latest In Organized Crime & Corruption
Lithuanian MPs To Azerbaijan: Be Good To Detained Journalists
Lithuanian parliament members urged the Azeri government to respect the human rights of two detained journalists and allow international monitors to observe their cases.
Ivory Smuggling Investigations To Continue In Asia
Investigation has moved to Asia say officials who coordinated the arrest of seven key players involved in a massive ivory smuggling operation out of Africa.
India: Congress Leader Suspected Of Laundering Money Through A Slum Rehabilitation Project
An Indian congressman was questioned about his alleged role in a money laundering scheme linked to a US$ 62 million slum rehabilitation project in Bandra, India.
Four Ex-Nigerian Officials Named In Swiss Bribery Scandal
The aide of former president Goodluck Jonathan and three other Nigerian ex-officials have been named in a massive US$ 20 million Swiss bribery scandal.
U.S. Crushes Russian Gang Charged With Mob Crimes And Chocolate Theft
Federal authorities arrested more than two dozen alleged members of a Russian gang involved in robbing, racketeering, selling narcotics, and other crimes, including even stealing chocolate.
Army Colonel And Wife Accused Of Running A $20m Bribery Scheme At U.S. Military Base
A U.S. Army colonel, his wife, and a former defense contractor were indicted for running a bribery and fraud scheme involving rigging military contracts.
Panama Diplomat: Venezuelan Vice-President Should Be Probed For Money Laundering
A former diplomat asked Panamanian officials to open a money laundering investigation into Venezuelan Vice-President Tareck El Aissami, who was blacklisted in February by the U.S. for playing “a significant role in international narcotics trafficking.”
Thai Tycoon Charged With Money Laundering
A Thai property tycoon was charged with money laundering as part of a widening embezzlement investigation that involves a major bank and a 1,000-acre Buddhist temple.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is a joint program of a number of regional investigative centers and independent media from Eastern Europe to Central Asia and beyond. We constantly strive to help the people of the regions we work in to better understand how organized crime and corruption affect their lives.

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