U.S. Treasury Targets Corrupt Businessman in North Macedonia
19 Jul 2023 ( U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY )
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one individual, Jordan “Orce” Kamcev, in North Macedonia pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14033. Today’s designation underscores the United States’ continued commitment to promote accountability for individuals and entities that undermine or threaten the stability of the Western Balkans through corruption and other destabilizing behavior.
“Mr. Kamcev abused his position, engaging in corrupt activities and pursuing a self-serving agenda at the expense of North Macedonia’s democratic institutions and citizens,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Treasury remains committed to holding perpetrators of corruption to account.”
BRIBERY TRIGGERED COLLAPSE OF NORTH MACEDONIA’S SPECIAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
Businessman Jordan “Orce” Kamcev (Kamcev) has engaged extensively in corruption, including abuse of office, money laundering, and other offenses for more than a decade starting in the early 2000s. In 2022, Kamcev was convicted in the “Vodno Land Parcels” trial for participating in a money laundering scheme linked to an illicit purchase of land. In a separate trial, Kamcev pleaded guilty to aggravated abuse of office in the “Empire Case,” in which he was suspected of criminal association, fraud, money laundering, and other crimes related to his businesses.
Additionally, Kamcev used his corruptive influence and wealth to manipulate North Macedonia’s judicial system in his favor. In 2020, the head prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) was charged for accepting a bribe from Kamcev and testified that Kamcev paid money in exchange for favorable arrest conditions and case outcomes. Kamcev later initiated a civil case against the head prosecutor and others, claiming they had extorted him. A Skopje civil court ruled that Kamcev was not a victim and was not entitled to compensatory damage.
In the aftermath of the scandal, the SPO collapsed. As a result, many high-level corruption cases that the SPO had been considering remain stagnant and undecided, delaying accountability for numerous individuals who have engaged in corruption similar to Kamcev.
Today, OFAC designated Kamcev pursuant to E.O. 14033 for being complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption related to the Western Balkans, including corruption by, on behalf of, or otherwise related to a government in the Western Balkans, or a current or former government official at any level of government in the Western Balkans, such as the misappropriation of public assets, expropriation of private assets for personal gain or political purposes, or bribery.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated person described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. All transactions by U.S. persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned individual may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action.SEE THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE