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Latest Investigations from the Balkans

macedonia-deputy-pm-kept-cypriot-firm-secret-05-20-2016
23 May 16

Macedonia Deputy PM Kept Cypriot Firm Secret

BIRN can reveal that Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Peshevski is still director of an active company in Cyprus, contravening Macedonia’s law on conflicts of interest.

quarries-make-hellish-mess-of-albania-s-holy-mountain-05-16-2016
18 May 16

Quarries Make Hellish Mess of Albania’s Holy Mountain

Dozens of quarrying companies are devastating the pristine alpine pastures of Albania’s Mt Tomorri – a sacred site, which is supposed to be a national park enjoying state protection.

albania-ignoring-suspected-drug-baron-s-greek-arrest-warrant-05-16-2016
16 May 16

Albania ‘Ignoring’ Suspected Drug Baron’s Greek Arrest Warrant

Greek police documents seen by BIRN shows that Athens suspects an Albanian official and prominent businessman of heading a major drugs trafficking ring – however, Albanian police have yet to arrest him.

mysterious-terrorist-organisation-haunts-kosovo-judiciary-05-06-2016
07 May 16

Mysterious ‘Terrorist Organisation’ Haunts Kosovo Judiciary

Despite a Pristina court’s recent conviction of two Kosovo Albanians for joining an alleged terrorist group in Syria called ‘Harausham’, no Kosovo institution can provide proof of its existence.

kosovo-weapons-chief-accused-of-selling-police-guns-on-black-market-05-01-2016
02 May 16

Kosovo Weapons Chief Accused of Selling Police Guns on Black Market

A Ministry of Interior official responsible for tackling illegal gun ownership in Kosovo stands accused of moonlighting as a black-market arms dealer, it is alleged.

montenegro-grants-citizenship-to-office-manager-of-abu-dhabi-sheikh-04-27-2016
28 Apr 16

Montenegro Grants Citizenship to “Office Manager” of Abu Dhabi Sheikh

Montenegro’s government handed honorary citizenship in 2014 to a Libyan-born “office manager” and his wife in what appears to have been an as yet unsuccessful attempt to lure investment from an Abu Dhabi sheikh, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network can reveal.

serbia-s-top-politicians-offer-humble-asset-declarations-04-19-2016
20 Apr 16

Serbia’s Top Politicians Offer Humble Asset Declarations

Publicly available records show that the leading contenders in Serbia’s upcoming parliamentary election only own modest assets - although the documents may not tell the whole story.

albania-s-gora-minority-takes-bulgarian-route-to-eu-04-18-2016
18 Apr 16

Albania’s Gora Minority Takes Bulgarian Route to EU

Members of a small community of obscure origin in northern Albania are applying in droves for Bulgarian passports, seeking a new life in the European Union.

balkan-energy-moguls-financial-woes-deepen-03-17-2016
18 Mar 16

Balkan Energy Moguls’ Financial Woes Deepen

The future of a planned multimillion-euro oil and gas terminal in Albania is now in doubt as the owners, high-profile Balkan businessmen Vojin Lazarevic and Damir Fazlic, face multiple debt recovery and repossession orders.

kosovo-turns-blind-eye-to-well-connected-squatters-03-10-2016
11 Mar 16

Kosovo Turns Blind Eye to Usurped State Land

BIRN research reveals that a recent official report - listing persons who have usurped state land - mysteriously fails to mention those with connections in high places.

world-bank-probes-role-in-kosovo-evictions-02-25-2016
29 Feb 16

World Bank Probes Role in Kosovo Evictions

Thousands are to be evicted from Kosovo villages surrounding a new power plant as the World Bank investigates its own actions in the ‘flawed’ resettlement programme.

rama-s-albania-rows-back-on-transparency-pledges-02-16-2016
17 Feb 16

Rama’s Albania Rows Back on Transparency Pledges

Despite passing two innovative laws in 2014, the centre-left government has not honoured its commitments to open up institutions to scrutiny.

kosovo-ngo-lost-0-5m-in-failed-bid-to-become-a-bank-02-11-2016
12 Feb 16

Kosovo NGO Lost €0.5m in Failed Bid to Become a Bank

A charitable, Kosovan microfinance lender spent 500,000 euros on consultancy and IT fees in its failed attempt to convert to a bank.

a-scandal-untold-the-near-collapse-of-a-kosovo-lending-giant-02-08-2016
10 Feb 16

A Scandal Untold: The Near Collapse of a Kosovo Lending Giant

A microfinance charity created to help Kosovo’s poorest is facing legal battles, a backdated tax bill and a criminal investigation following its near collapse in 2011, BIRN can reveal.

fashion-victims-even-in-eu-garment-workers-face-tough-conditions-01-12-2016
09 Feb 16

Fashion Victims: Even in EU, Garment Workers Face Tough Conditions

Women in Romania and Bulgaria endure low pay, long hours and gruelling work to make clothes for luxury Western brands.