Police seized the cannabis resin from a utility van with Spanish registration, but the occupants of the van fled the scene.
Moroccan judicial police from the northern city of Nador seized 3.4 tons of cannabis resin from a utility van with Spanish registration on Thursday, January 24.
The occupants of the van ran away, Maghreb Arab Press reports.
The seizure came after Morocco’s intelligence agency, the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST), provided police with information about the haul of cannabis.
The van was on an unpaved road near Tazaghine, a small town in a mountainous region of the Rif region that is 25 kilometers from the closed border with Algeria and 120 kilometers from the Spanish enclave of Melilla, said the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) in a press release.
To evade the police, the people in the van abandoned the vehicle. It remains unclear if the authorities have identified any suspects. However, police are continuing to investigate the incident, according to the press release.
The DGSN described the operation as a prevention of international drug trafficking.
Cannabis is widely grown in Morocco’s northern regions. Much of the cannabis resin in Europe originates in Morocco, while Algeria and Spain serve as transit points for drugs from Morocco into Europe.
However, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reports that production of the drug in Morocco has decreased “sharply” over the years.
The DGSN is heavily engaged in stopping drug trafficking by seizing drugs and arresting those carrying them. Last week, the DGSN arrested three people in Agadir on suspicion of drug trafficking and seized more than two tons of cannabis resin.
In both 2018 and 2019, security services seized approximately 179,000 tons of cannabis and its derivatives in Morocco.