The Ognjanović Brothers` Alkaloid Factory in Skopje, 1936–1945 Cover Image

Скопска фабрика алкалоида браће Огњановић 1936–1945.
The Ognjanović Brothers` Alkaloid Factory in Skopje, 1936–1945

Author(s): Vladan Z. Jovanović
Subject(s): Social history, Criminology, Interwar Period (1920 - 1939), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949)
Published by: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije
Keywords: opium; alkaloid factory; heroin; smuggling; Skopje; Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Summary/Abstract: The documents from the sessions of the Opium Advisory Board of the League of Nations in Geneva and the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Yugoslav diplomatic representations in Turkey and Washington were used to reconstruct the unusual business transformation of brothers Sofronije and Filip Ognjanović from western Macedonia, the producers of cheese and dairy products who became the leading (legal) opium processors. However, the involvement of their Skopje-based Yugoslav Alkaloid Factory S & F Ognjanović in illegal production, covering up of ofϐicial data and unscrupulous smuggling of opium derivatives (morphine, heroin and codeine), even across the Atlantic Ocean, have contributed to the general criminalization of this proϐitable economic branch. At the same time, the intensity of their illegal activities led to tightening of Yugoslav-American relations, threatening the export of Macedonian opium to the United States. Given that US pharmaceutical factories purchased almost the entire annual production of Yugoslav raw opium (99%), the Privileged Association for the Export of Agricultural Products (PRIZAD) demanded that the alkaloid factory in Skopje be banned from further operations. Despite the arrest of Sofronije Ognjanović and the seizure of heroin, his factory in Skopje also became a target of the cartel of European opium pro cessors because it continued to export morphine below the market price, thus jeopardizing the dominant position of the Yugoslav opium on the US market. Due to the growing threats of US diplomacy and dissatisϐied Euro pean customers, Yugoslavia has tightened its opium legislation, which, in the wake of the Second World War, led to signiϐicant suppression of illegal production and opium smuggling. Notwithstanding the fact that it caused serious international incidents, the Skopje alkaloid factory continued to operate with a state license, and in the beginning of 1939 founded a car tel of domestic opium processors with the factory in Hrastnik for the joint appearance on the domestic and foreign markets. The alkaloid factory in Skopje also operated during the Bulgarian occupation, and after the liber ation and nationalization in June 1945 continued its operations as a state owned company Alkaloid-Skopje.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 67-88
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Serbian