Rabat – Morocco’s BCIJ has arrested seven individuals linked to a criminal network specialized in smuggling cocaine between Morocco, the US, Latin America, and Europe.
In line with the arrest on Saturday morning, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) seized a domestic truck loaded with sacks of cocaine paste weighing one ton in total, two rubber boats, two four-wheel-drive cars, a GPS, and a water engine.
According to the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), the criminal network smuggled cocaine by sea on a merchant vessel from Latin America to Moroccan waters, then transported the cocaine to El Jadida, near Casablanca, by a fishing vessel.
The traffickers later transported the cocaine loads by land on a truck carrying vegetables.
The BCIJ arrested the alleged criminal mastermind behind the cocaine trafficking, in addition to the seven accomplices who have criminal records in drug trafficking.
The suspects are currently held in custody, undergoing investigations under the supervision of the public prosecutor.
Authorities seek to determine whether the criminal network has links to a bigger crime organization in South America.
This is the second biggest operation conducted by Morocco’s BCIJ in recent years. In October 2017, Moroccan authorities dismantled an international drug trafficking ring in possession of over 2.5 tons of cocaine.
Drug trafficking continues to be an issue in Morocco, especially the movement of psychoactive drugs and cannabis, or hash, which are popular in the illegal drug market.
Morocco’s report on the implementation of criminal policy announced in July that authorities recorded 85,000 cases of drug-related crimes in 2017.
Drug cases resulted in the arrest of 74,573 suspects in 2012, while 88,179 suspects of drug-related crimes were arrested in 2016.