Morocco seizes over a tonne of cocaine

A picture taken on October 4, 2017, shows seized drugs and weapons on display at the Central office of Criminal investigation in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh
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Moroccan authorities said Saturday they had seized more than a tonne of cocaine and detained seven people suspected of smuggling the narcotic from South America to Europe.

The Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation said the cocaine was found in a truck along with two dinghies near the port city of El Jadida, according to a statement carried by the official MAP news agency.

Seven Moroccan citizens were arrested “for their alleged links to a transnational criminal network involved in the international trafficking of cocaine between Morocco, Latin America and Europe”.

The authorities said initial information suggested the drugs had been shipped over from South America on a commercial vessel before being transferred onto a smaller fishing boat and brought ashore in Morocco.

Cocaine traffickers have developed new routes to Europe over the past decade.

The drug is mostly sent from Central America via West African countries and more recently through North Africa, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

In recent years, the Moroccan authorities have reported increasing cocaine seizures, including a record 2.5-tonne haul in October last year.

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