The operation comes after Morocco’s Royal Navy rescued 183 irregular migrants on August 1.
Rabat – Moroccan security services thwarted on Monday an irregular migration attempt from the castle strip under the territorial jurisdiction of the province of the coastal city of Tarfaya, southwestern Morocco.
Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) quoted authorities in the province as saying that security services arrested 40 irregular migrants, including 12 women from sub-Saharan African countries, on August 3.
Moroccan authorities put the would-be migrants in quarantine. They will undergo COVID-19 screening tests to identify potential virus carriers.
The source added that the bodies of seven African nationals, including five women, “were washed up by the sea.”
Morocco has opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of the case and arrest additional suspects potentially involved in the irregular migration attempt.
The operation is similar to a Royal Navy security patrol on August 1, which led to the rescue of 183 would-be migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Morocco has been intensifying its approach to fight irregular migration and human trafficking for years.
Morocco’s efforts enabled security services to thwart 74,000 irregular migration attempts in 2019. Moroccan police also arrested 505 organizers of undocumented migration involved in 62 human trafficking networks last year.
Moroccan police arrested 27,317 people attempting to cross to European countries without legal papers.
Moroccans represented 26% of those arrested for irregular migration attempts.