A worker tends to cannabis plants at a medical marijuana plantation near the northern Israeli city of Safed, June 11, 2012. Reuters/Baz Ratner

An Order of Australia recipient from Melbourne is facing charges of drug offences. Boris Trajkov, a former SBS radio journalist who was awarded the honour for his services to the Macedonian community, was taken in custody in January.

Boris faces charges for allegedly cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis. He is also accused of stealing electricity while on bail.

In addition, Boris is being pursued for $3.5 million that is missing from the Victorian Multiethnic Slavic Welfare Association, a charity he co-founded and operated for more than 20 years. The charity’s liquidators stated in a writ filed in the County Court of Victoria in December that the accused could not explain in excess of $2.5 million that was paid as part of association’s fees.

He also could not account for $700,000 in expenses and cash that was withdrawn from the association, and an additional $190,000 that was transferred from the association's bank account to the account of Slobodanka Trajkova, his wife.

Avid Vasudevan, liquidator of the association, said Boris had failed to explain the missing money. “At the moment we are trying to find out where the money went and in the absence of a proper explanation we are demanding compensation," Vasudevan said. "We have alleged that because Mr Trajkov had access to the cash, and also had paid those expenses, he should account to us about where those funds have gone and who the ultimate beneficiaries are. In the absence of that then we have alleged that the ultimate beneficiary would have been Mr Trajkov."

Speaking with the ABC in January, Boris denied stealing the association’s money. He said the money had been used for the childcare centre. However, it was revealed in 2013 that the Education of Department had placed the Lalor childcare centre under review for violating the child/educator quota.

Trajkov, who was honoured with an Order of Australia in 1991 “for services to the Macedonian and other communities,” came to Australia in 1967. He caught the attention of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) soon after his arrival.

According to a branch memo in his ASIO file, illegal gambling was being practiced in his cafe. The cafe, as noted by the Victoria Police in a 1969 memo, was “frequented by thieves, rogues etc.”

"[Trajkov] is a non-worker and encourages persons of disrepute in his establishment,” the memo stated. Nevertheless, he maintained his interest in the restaurant business.