Morocco’s customs officers seized 1,796 psychotropic pills on Thursday at Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport.
The drugs carried the trade name “Rivotril 2mg,” a customs source told Morocco’s state media.
A Moroccan citizen who had flown from Madrid was carrying the pills, and customs officers caught him in the Tangier airport upon his arrival.
Officers took the suspect into police custody for further investigation at the public prosecutor’s instruction, according to the same source.
In the same city, considered as the gateway between Europe and Africa, Moroccan police seized 5,400 Ritrovil-type tablets at the Tangier-Med Port in June 2020. The suspects involved in the incident had alleged links with a network active in international drug trafficking.
Earlier this month, Moroccan authorities arrested a retired 62-year-old nurse for trafficking psychotropic drugs in the city of Kenitra, near the capital Rabat.
Police seized 23 boxes of psychotropic drugs, in addition to some surgical equipment and printed medical certificates.
A report that the Customs and Indirect Tax Administration (ADII) published last year shows that Morocco’s customs staff seized 690,000 psychotropic pills, such as ecstasy, amphetamines, and Rivotril — like those seized at the Tangier airport — in 2019.
The report also shows that customs seized 119 tons of cannabis resin and 63 grams of “hard drugs” during the same year.
During the year of the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset and its consequential strict travel restrictions, security services seized fewer psychotropic pills in 2020.
According to the annual report by the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN), Moroccan police seized 476,923 psychotropic tablets in 2020.
The report also indicates that Moroccan police arrested 97,564 people who were involved in drug trafficking cases the same year.
The data from the report show a 66% decrease in the overall amount of drugs seized compared to 2019.