One of the suspects is an ex-convict who served a 20 year sentence for homicide.
Police officers made the arrests on Thursday, January 16, in Rabat’s neighboring city, Sale, according to a press release from Morocco’s General Directorate for National Security (DGSN).
The robberies took place a day prior to the arrest, in two different clinics. The suspects allegedly broke into the medical facilities and tied down the employees, before stealing their cell phones and cash, adds the document.
During the arrests, police seized a knife used to threaten the victims.
One of the suspects had a previous conviction for homicide and had spent 20 years in prison, reveals DGSN.
Police put the suspects in custody pending completion of the investigation. Authorities are still looking for a woman, suspected to be involved in the planning of the robberies, and a fourth person, suspected of receiving the stolen cell phones.
The operation is part of the DGSN’s strategy to reduce the rate of violent crime in Morocco.
In 2019, police handled 639,116 criminal cases and arrested 644,025 people, including 43,008 women and 23,746 minors, revealed an annual report.
DGSN said that it noticed a “relative stability in the percentage of [resolved] criminal cases of around 90.4%,” in 2019.
The directorate announced its particular focus on tracking down suspects with existing arrest warrants. The police force succeeded in apprehending 130,680 of the suspects.
The number of arrests increased by 12% between 2018 and 2019, while the number of complaints grew by 3%.
Violent crimes, such as armed robberies and sexual assaults, represent 8% of the criminal cases. They also decreased by 8.6% compared to 2018.
Fatal assault decreased by 11.2%, indecent assault by 10.2%, theft by 3.4%, armed robbery by 21%, and vehicle theft by 7.8%, noted the report.