Mafias

"One Coin", story of the cryptocurrency that deceived the world

29/12/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Bulgarian entrepreneur Ruja Ignatova wanted to "bury BitCoin" and created a new cryptocurrency that was to change the world: "OneCoin". Behind her sparkling dream, however, there was a scam for four billion dollars, which disappeared along with Ignatova herself

MEPs call for an end to illegal logging in Romania

21/12/2020

Illegal logging is deforesting vast areas in Romania and the environmental degradation in Europe's last primary forests has reached unimaginable proportions in recent years

Serbia: dangerous liaisons

18/06/2020 -  Antonela Riha Belgrade

On the eve of the elections, yet another scandal invests Serbia's leadership. A photograph portrays the son of President Vučić at a bar in the company of some other people, including a member of a mafia clan

Timber mafia and deforestation in Romania

06/04/2020 -  Christoph Lehermayr, Sebastian Reinhart, and Johannes Kaiser

Virgin forests in Central-Eastern Europe are the last remaining ones on the continent, yet they are being mercilessly torn down. Part of this multi-billion euro industry is a mafia-like system; Austrian timber companies are right at the heart of it

Croatia, Unreal Estate

29/01/2020 -  Anuška DelićMašenjka BačićDmitry Velikovsky

An investigation by OCCRP reveals a strange round of money between Russia and Croatia, made of purchases fictitious real estate and offshore companies

Bosnia and Herzegovina, the right to the rule of law

15/07/2019 -  Alfredo Sasso Sarajevo

The deaths of Dženan and David are just some of the "silenced cases", the many episodes of bad justice that have shaken Bosnia and Herzegovina in recent years. Hence arose one of the few mobilisations capable of crossing the administrative and so-called "ethnic" borders of the country after the war

Montenegro: the swamp of politics

13/06/2019 -  Milena Perović – Korać Podgorica

Montenegro remains plagued by major issues of crime and corruption, which directly involve the ruling elite. An interview with Dejan Milovac, deputy director of the MANS NGO

How the Mafias came to Slovakia

21/02/2019 -  Pavla Holcová Cecilia AnesiLuca RinaldiKaratína Jánošíková

In post-communist Slovakia organized crime families from around the world found fertile ground. In memory of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak, killed one year ago, OCCRP and its partners are publishing new findings on the nexus of mafias and corruption

Montenegro: journalist Olivera Lakić attacked

18/05/2018 -  Damira Kalač Podgorica

Olivera Lakić, investigative journalist from the Montenegrin newspaper Vijesti, was shot and wounded in front of her house, in the same place where she was beaten up six years ago. It's not easy to be a journalist in Montenegro

Demonstrating for David in Banja Luka

10/05/2018 -  Alfredo Sasso

The authorities of the Republika Srpska are not telling the whole truth on the suspicious death of 21-year-old David Dragičević. But there are now thousands of protesters who every day, for a month and a half, have been asking for clarity

Ukraine, the amber republic

14/08/2017 -  Oleksiy Bondarenko

Some of the world's largest amber deposits are located on Ukrainian territory. Extraction is in the hands of criminal organisations, and institutions are hesitant or connivant – meanwhile, the environment is devastated

Bulgaria: the trafficking networks

15/10/2015 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

The government in Sofia has recently strengthened the laws against people-trafficking, in an attempt to strike the local criminal organizations who are finding in the migrants a new source of income

Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Bobar Banka case

20/08/2015 -  Rodolfo Toè Sarajevo

The story of Bobar Banka Bijeljina highlights the possible reasons for the convocation of a referendum in Republika Srpska against the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fort Sochi

20/12/2013 -  Andrea Rossini

The Sochi Project, a digital tale showcased at the recent Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, is a powerful investigation into the next Winter Olympics, and on the human rights violations associated

The Sarajevo godfathers

06/11/2013 -  Cecilia Ferrara

The chronicles of recent trials give an insight on the state of organised crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the rest of the Balkans

Kosovo, a new start for Eulex. Maybe

22/10/2013 -  Matteo Tacconi

The resources invested by the EU in Kosovo have not affected the power of organized crime and the level of corruption within local institutions. The recent turnover in Eulex's top management and the pressure from Berlin could, however, improve the effectiveness of the European mission

The Albanian mafia under investigation

16/10/2013 -  Matteo Tacconi

According to the National Anti-Mafia Directorate – an organ of the Italian State's General Attorney for the fight against organized crime, the Albanian mafia has gained a leading role in Italy's drug market

Lazarat, the capital of Albanian marijuana

08/10/2013 -  Cecilia Ferrara

According to the Italian police, in Albania there are hundreds of marijuana plantations for export. One of the most renowned production centers is the village of Lazarat, where cultivation is an important support to the farmers' income

Keljmendi, the boss of the Balkans

22/05/2013 -  Cecilia Ferrara

After having escaped an operation by the Bosnian police, Naser Keljmendi was arrested in Kosovo on May 5th. He is accused of murder, drug trafficking and allegedly runs networks extended throughout the Balkans

Kosovo fights crime repression, not crime

08/02/2013 -  Andrea Lorenzo Capussela

The new criminal code procedure approved by the Kosovo Parliament makes it even more difficult for witnesses to give evidence, and risky

The end of the Serbian mafia?

22/02/2012 -  Cecilia Ferrara

The arrest in Spain of four Serbian citizens alleged leaders of one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the Balkans, the infamous Zemun clan, has inflicted a heavy blow on organized crime in the region. But is it truly over?

Transnational networks and state-building in the Balkans

03/02/2011 -  Denisa Kostovicova, Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic

Informality allows people to change their immediate circumstances for the better, but it locks the state and society in a vicious circle of reproduction of a weak state, promising insecurity for the majority and prosperity for the few. From openDemocracy

Balkan based organized crime activities gaining ground

11/11/2010 -  Ioannis Michaletos

According to several reports, the criminal organizations in the Balkans are strenghtening their positions and diversifying their activities. The "Balkan routes", traditionally used to smuggle heroin towards Western Europe, are increasingly used to smuggle cocaine and for human trafficking operations. From Bright magazine

Against the Mafia

26/02/2010 -  Cecilia Ferrara Belgrado

Serbia's law on the confiscation of property deriving from crime, outlined in collaboration with the Italian anti-mafia Department and in force for about a year, has started to produce some results. But what does the term “organized crime” mean in Serbia? Here's what the experts say

Roberto Saviano on the mafia and Eastern Europe

20/10/2009 -  Laura Delsere

Shifting his focus from Italy's Casalesi crime family to the mafia bosses of the East, the author of the best-selling novel "Gomorra", Roberto Saviano, is now analysing the spread of organized crime in Eastern Europe. This is the topic of his next book. Our interview.

The New Bulgarian Demons

27/11/2008 -  Francesco MartinoTristan Lefilleul Sofia

"The 'new Bulgarian demons' are nothing else but the old ones dressed in new clothes; a mix of the nomenclature and the secret services of the regime." An interview with German journalist Jürgen Roth, author of a book on organised crime in Bulgaria, which stirred debate in Sofia and beyond

UN Report: Balkans Safer Than Thought

02/07/2008 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

The Balkans is safer than thought. This is the basic message from a recently published reportby the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The report made global headlines as some of its arguments run counter to common wisdom - that the Balkans is a gloomy and risky place.

Crime Novel

19/06/2008 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

How was organized crime in Bulgaria born and how did it develop over recent years? Who are its protagonists? And what was its response to the challenges posed by the entry of the country into the EU? An interview with Tihomir Bezlov, senior analyst of the Center for the Study of Democracy

Macedonia: Six Killed in Police Raid in around Tetovo

13/11/2007 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Six men were killed and 13 were arrested in action of the special forces of Macedonian police in the village of Brodec, Tetovo region, on the morning of 7 November. The operation, code name "Mountain Storm", which took place in the early morning hours, was completely unexpected

Grand Trial for Traffickers

08/05/2006 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

The biggest ever criminal proceedings in Macedonia started in April bringing to trial 28 people accused of human trafficking. They are accused to have been part of a well organized transnational network that has been smuggling migrants from Macedonia into Greece