ALGIERS, Dec 6, 2012 (AFP) -
ALGIERS, Dec 6, 2012 (AFP) –
Algerian police have seized 19 tonnes of cannabis resin in the western Tlemcen region, near the Moroccan border, and arrested four suspected traffickers, an Algerian daily reported on Thursday.
The seizure was made on Wednesday at a farm in the border village of Akid Lotfi, where four people, including the owner of the farm and his son, were arrested, El Watan said on its website.
The police operation followed several days of investigations, El Watan said, citing the head of the local anti-drug squad, adding that the farm was situated “a few metres (yards)” from the territory of Morocco, one of the world’s top cannabis exporters.
The border between the two countries has been closed since 1994 following an attack in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh that Rabat blamed on Algerian security services.
But drug smugglers and residents of the border area are able to get round the closure.
The Algerian authorities have seized nearly 90 tonnes of cannabis along the border since January, El Watan reported.
Punishment for drug trafficking in Algeria is severe, often involving long jail terms.