||This article possibly contains original research. (April 2008)|
These countries are primarily favored by Macedonian organized crime figures for operating in or for forming partnerships with local organized crime groups, primarily from other Balkan or Eastern European countries as well as Italian syndicates, for their cultural, linguistic, ethnographic and geographical similarities as well as because of existing mutual ties between the organized crime groups or their members abroad and in the home countries, or the use of
Countries such was Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg and Cyprus are used for off-shore banking and money laundering, as well as Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Macedonian organized crime groups co-operate with other Balkan organized crime groups including the Serbian, Bulgarian and Albanian groups, both in the Balkans and in other places around the world, as well as the Italian mafia and the Russian mafia.
Macedonian organized crime is usually centered around all types of legitimate businesses alongside typical organized crime activities such as smuggling, import and export, drug trafficking, extortion, arms trade, fraud, auto theft, racketeering, gambling, human trafficking, murder, contract killing, bodyguarding, prostitution and money laundering. Macedonian organized crime is also involved in security companies like the Bulgarian mafia, as well as with them, especially operating out of cities in eastern Macedonia, such as Štip. They are thought to have ties with the Janev Clan and the Albanian Mafia when concerning the trade of tobacco. Macedonian organized crime in Australia and Toronto, Canada is predominant among youth.
Macedonian organized crime, similarly to Bulgarian, Serbian, Albanian and Russian organized crime, utilizes the concept of using security groups to protect their businesses, enforce their power and eliminate competition. These security groups are usually composed of ex military, special forces, martial artists/MMA fighters and bodybuilders. While most security groups are responsible for low level activities such as posing as nightclub bouncers(nightclubs are a Macedonian gangsters' favorite meeting and party place, along with the kafana).
These security groups hide behind and operate mainly under a corporate structure, but some are more militarized than others and have been labelled as terrorist groups. It's also safe to say that the Macedonian military itself is also heavily influenced and involved in organized crime activities and is a breeding and training ground for some gangsters. Some well known and higher quality security groups usually possess Macedonia's best and most infamous enforcers, and aside having checkered backgrounds these criminals have gone to be the top ranking Macedonian politicians(presidents and prime ministers) and businessmen's personal security detail and bodyguards. They have even killed people on their behalf.
Same as the above, the banking system in Macedonia heavily relies on organized crime in order to flourish, with limited foreign funding from its umbrella banks in Western European countries, it's unable to flourish on its own. It's also safe to say that some Western European, Russian and Middle Eastern banks have set up money laundering centers in Macedonia in the form of banks, companies, religious and educational institutions.
Recently, a growing trend in Macedonia used by organized crime groups to launder money(because of the country's poorly organized justice and financial system and widespread political corruption it's hard for law enforcement officials to find evidence highlighting any type of illegal activities in terms of financial crimes when the Macedonian legal statues on financial crime is still heavily based on the Communist Yugoslavian one which does not apply in any way to the modern Capitalist system) is through the use of gambling institutions such as sports betting and casinos.
- Metodija Smilenski: Metodija is a wealthy Austrian citizen who is currently in prison for his involvement in organised crime in Austria and Macedonia.
- Marjan Tushevski - (died 2003): Boss of the Macedonian underground.
- Zoran Manaskov (aka Skrsheniot [The Broken One]): The alleged leader of the Frankfurt mafia, a huge Macedonian led heroin ring operating in Germany and Austria based out of the city of Veles, Macedonia.
- Berat Zendeli (aka Wolfman [E7 Clique])Boss of the Macedonian underground & Gangs Controlling neighborhoods and control prositut sale and purchase of queen
- "Metodija Smilenski arrested". MakFax. 2006-06-20.
- "Police Swoop on Macedonian Drugs Barons".
- "Huge 'Macedonia-led' heroin ring broken up in Europe". BBC News. 2010-12-23.