Rabat - Moroccan royal gendarmerie has dismantled a five-people organized criminal group involved in illegal emigration to Europe through Libya, and in other serious crimes, including kidnapping and money laundering.
Rabat – Moroccan royal gendarmerie has dismantled a five-people organized criminal group involved in illegal emigration to Europe through Libya, and in other serious crimes, including kidnapping and money laundering.
The authorities were after these gang since September 2017, following the arrest of two masterminds of illegal emigration in Beni Mellal, a city located in center Morocco. The two criminals were apprehended for their involvement in a large network that operates at both the national and international levels.
Investigations conducted under the supervision of Beni Mellal’s public prosecutor led to the arrest of five individuals, one of whom acted as an intermediary between the main organizers and the potential illegal immigrants.
The enquiry also revealed the gang’s involvement in a network of illicit financial transactions that collected funds from candidates and transferred them to Libya to be then smuggled to Italy. Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), which reported the news said that the total number of financial transactions since 2015 amounts to 3,000 operations.
The operation led to the arrest of five people involved in criminal acts, including a foreigner. The royal gendarmerie also seized a sum of money estimated at MAD 2.5 million.
The criminals were also taking sums of money from the families of migrants stranded by force in Libya with a promise to ease their passage to Europe.
The public prosecutor office ordered the detention of all the arrested criminals, and the seizure of money as well as the opening of anti-money laundering procedures.
Illegal immigration has resulted in many issues in the recent years. People wishing to reach Europe, including Moroccans trust these gangs, who in turn take huge sums of money on promise to make them reach the old continent. However, most of the migrants find themselves either stranded in Libya’s detention centers, dead in the Mediterranean or trafficked by human trafficking gangs.
A series of videos circulating on social media feature how migrants stranded in Libya struggle. Many Moroccans shared their videos on social media, calling for help from Moroccan authorities to bring them back home. For those migrants the Eldorado dream has turned into a nightmare, as many were imposed to slavery.
Earlier in December, Morocco succeeded in repatriating 235 Moroccan migrants after an operation, which took place in August helped bring home 200 Moroccan citizens.
About 265 Moroccan migrants currently detained in Libya are going to be taken back home soon, announced on December 15 the Tripoli branch of the Libyan Agency to prevent Illegal Immigration.