Rabat - Police authorities in the city of Sale dismantled an organized crime ring on Saturday, arresting four individuals involved in smuggling migrants.
Rabat – Police authorities in the city of Sale dismantled an organized crime ring on Saturday, arresting four individuals involved in smuggling migrants.
The arrest of four suspects by the judicial police was made possible following a detailed investigation, read a statement by the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
The investigation also enabled authorities to identify 21 migrants, including four women and two children who were hiding in an apartment in the Sidi Moussa neighborhood of Sale.
The investigation showed that one member of the criminal ring had gathered migrants from several Moroccan cities in a Sale apartment, waiting to transfer them from the city to a boat that was also seized during the suspects’ arrest. The migrants reportedly had given MAD 12,000 to the criminal ring.
The defendants remain in custody while the investigation continues under the supervision of the city’s public prosecutor. The investigation will also seek to identify all accomplices suspected of being involved in the smuggling ring.
Illegal immigration has reached crisis levels in recent years. People wishing to reach Europe, including Moroccans, place their trust in gangs of smugglers who in turn demand large sums of money for a promise to deliver them to the European continent. Many of the migrants, however, eventually find themselves either stranded in Libya’s migrant detention centers, or worse, trafficked by human trafficking gangs.Some migrants were sold in human slave markets in 2017. Several thousand more drowned in the Mediterranean Sea last year.