Macedonia: Finance Police Arrests 19 People in Agency for Real Estate Cadastre

Financial Police have arrested 19 persons, including current and former employees in the Agency for Real Estate Cadastre (AREC), owner of a private surveying company in Skopje and individuals who illegally acquired real estate property.

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The Financial Police proceeded upon a report by the AREC’s internal control department, which detected illegal activities in numerous cases processed in the Skopje-­based real estate cadastre center. An employee in the agency’s legal department is the main suspect in the operation, which also involved window clerks, surveyors and sector heads.

The scheme was carried out in two ways. The first was by submitting fictitious filing applications with falsified documents or no documents by the persons who required the registration of a certain property to a window at the Skopje cadastre office, a case later assigned to the main suspect.

The second way was when the suspected sector heads opened a case of alleged correction of a technical error in the real estate cadastre, which was directly assigned to the main suspect instead of competent surveyors.

The illegal operations started by the end of 2014 and lasted until mid­ 2015. During this period, the group managed to register dozens of state-­owned cadastre lots totaling at 139,281 square meters to several individuals. They cited fictitious rulings, privatization decisions or alleged agreements signed with the state as grounds for registration.

The suspects will be taken before a pre­trial judge in Basic Court Skopje 1, who will rule over their detention.
22 December 2015