The Moroccan coast guard had a busy weekend recently as they intercepted nearly 200 illegal immigrants and a ton of cannabis over 2 days in the Meditteranean and Atlantic.
Five people have been arrested in relation to the smugglings, 3 Spanish and 2 Moroccans, and with them seized a few jet skis and a Go-Fast boat as part of their seizure – according to GGTN Africa.
The coast guard also picked up 186 illegal immigrants, most of which were from Sub-Saharan Africa, who were travelling on multiple makeshift boats. These members received medical attention on Moroccan Navy ships before being transferred to Moroccan ports.
Moroccan authorities have pushed for greater surveillance as part of its efforts to manage drug trafficking across its borders which has increased in the age of the coronavirus. Since lockdowns were implemented, smuggling efforts have increased and the number of seizures is on the rise as a result.
In June alone, Northern Moroccan security services seized roughly two tonnes of cannabis resin and large amounts of cash obtained via trafficking. At the end of June, Moroccan national security, DGSN, stated that 8 people had been arrested related to suspected possession and trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Two of these were customs officers working in warehouses which held seized products.
Other seizures in recent times have resulted in 72 tonnes of cannabis and 3 tonnes of cannabis resin, according to Moroccan World News, adding that DGSN confiscated 179 657 tonnes of cannabis and forms of in 2019.
Although cannabis is illegal to consume, buy and sell in Morocco, the country remains one of the world’s largest exporters of the drug, while cannabis is mostly tolerated due to its economic contribution. It seems likely that Moroccan authorities will continue to crack down on any and all illegal smugglers.