Moroccan police working with Royal Gendarmerie seized just shy of six tonnes of weed and arrested 14 suspects in connection with a big raid earlier this week.
But weed and suspects were not the only things the authorities found, according to Moroccan World News. The find near Laayoune kicked off searchers that revealed an AK-47, a hunting rifle, 66 bullets, 114 cartridges of ammunition, tear gas canisters, binoculars, mobile phones, a geo-location device and a false licence plate, Moroccan World News adds, citing the Direction Générale de la Sûreté Nationale (DGSN).
The cannabis seizure is part of the country’s efforts to crack down on drug trafficking and cross-border crime, notes a DGSN tweet.
Hash is very popular in Europe and places like Morocco have traditionally been part of the smuggling pipelines out of Africa. But with COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns and border crossing restrictions, smuggling efforts are more apparent and the resulting size and number of seizures are on the rise.
Just last week in northern Morocco, security services seized a smaller, but still very substantial, amount of cannabis resin. Authorities seized about two tonnes of the drug and an unidentified sum of cash thought to be the result of trafficking.
And on June 24, the DGSN announced that eight people were arrested related to suspected possession and trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. This included two customs officers working in warehouses containing seized products.
Other recent seizures have included 72 tonnes and three tonnes of cannabis resin, reports Moroccan World News, adding the DGSN confiscated 179,657 tonnes of cannabis and its derivatives last year.
Even in North America, cannabis seizures during the global pandemic are way up. Border officers at two close Canadian neighbours, Detroit and Buffalo, have witnessed a substantial uptick in weed seized during COVID-19 and the travel restrictions that came into force between Canada and the U.S. on Mar. 21.
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