Moroccan military officers arrested in drugs probe

15th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Police broke up the ring, described a major network operating out of the north of the country, in a series of raids.

RABAT - Nearly 30 members of Morocco's military have been arrested on suspicion of colluding in smuggling hashish to Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, security sources said Wednesday.

Investigators suspected the leader of the ring of having "benefited from complicity of elements of the royal gendarmerie, the royal marines and the auxiliary forces," said an interior ministry statement.

Police broke up the ring, described a major network operating out of the north of the country, in a series of raids on Sunday, said the statement.

On Wednesday, they were questioning 29 members of the various services suspected of having been part of the ring, said a security source.

Also arrested were those suspected of having provided the drugs, the pilots of high-speed inflatable boats used to get it to Europe, and other suspects, said the same source.

Last year, police seized 110.8 tonnes of hashish were seized against 117.7 tonnes in 2007, a drop of five percent.

The ministry said the amount of land where cannabis was grown in the north of the country shrank to about 60,000 hectares from 134,000 hectares in 2003.

(AFP/Expatica)

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