The US Treasury has sanctioned North Macedonian businessman Orce Kamcev for engaging in “corruption, including abuse of office, money laundering, and other offences for more than a decade starting in the early 2000s.”
According to the Treasury, the designation underscores the US’ “continued commitment to promote accountability for individuals and entities that undermine or threaten the stability of the Western Balkans through corruption and other destabilising behaviour.”
Kamcev is considered to be one of the wealthiest individuals in North Macedonia.
“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,” continued the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson.
As a result of the sanctions, the US Treasury will block any property, or interest in property in the US, with ties to the North Macedonian businessman. All legal entities owned or partially owned by Kamcev where the US has jurisdiction will also be blocked. Transactions linked to Kamcev, either within the US or through US jurisdictions, will be prohibited.
Kamcev remains a controversial figure due to his connection to many high-profile corruption scandals, court cases and investigations. His association with North Macedonia’s former authoritarian leader, Nikola Gruevski, has also called Kamcev’s conduct into question.
Kamcev was convicted in a local case dubbed “Vodno Land Parcels” last year. The ensuing trial found Gruevski guilty of conducting an illegal property scheme, with Kamcev involved in a money-laundering scheme linked to the Gruevski property purchasing scheme.
Kamcev pleaded guilty in a separate trial of aggravated abuse of office in the high-profile “Empire” case, in which he was accused of criminal association, fraud, money laundering and other crimes.
In 2020, the then-head prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) was charged with accepting a bribe from Kamcev. He testified that Kamcev paid money in exchange for “favourable arrest conditions and case outcomes.”
Following the allegations, Kamcev initiated a civil case against the head prosecutor. He claimed he had been extorted, and that he was the victim. A Skopje civil court ruled against him, and said Kamcev was not entitled to compensation.
Kamcev’s family controls Orka Holding, and the North Macedonian businessman has been involved in trade, retail, hotel businesses, media ownership and other activities over the years.
He was the richest person in North Macedonia in 2015, with a net worth of 228 million euros.
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