By Sana Elouazi
Rabat – Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is considering filing a complaint against Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel after accusing Morocco’s national airline on October 20, of “transporting something other than passengers,” referring to hashish.
The news outlet M6info reported Saturday that a meeting took place at the beginning of November in the RAM headquarters in Casablanca, between the management of the company, Moroccan lawyers, and a large French law firm to begin the procedure.
Royal Air Maroc, therefore considers filing a complaint for “defamation” in the Paris District Court.
The top Algerian diplomat claimed during a meeting with business leaders in Algiers that the Moroccan state-owned carrier, Royal Air Maroc, transports cannabis to sub-saharan Africa.
“The Royal Air Maroc carries something other than passengers, and everyone knows it, ” said Messahel.
Following these accusations, the airline immediately responded in a statement stressing that “Royal Air Maroc intends to enforce its honor, that of its 4,000 employees and its 7 million passengers, including 2 million African passengers, using all legal means available at its disposal.”
The Algerian minister went so far as to accuse Morocco of funding its investments programs in sub-Saharan Africa with money obtained from drug trafficking, as well as that Moroccan banks helped launder money from the hashish trade.
“Moroccan banks are money laundering hashish, that everyone knows. The leaders of so many African countries have told me this, ” he added.
These remarks were squarely denounced by Moroccan authorities, who said that the Algerian minister showed a lack of knowledge regarding the Moroccan banking system and the rules of the international civil aviation.
The Moroccan ambassador to Algeria, Lahcen Abdelkhalek, was also recalled on October 21 for consultations by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before returning to his post last week.