Morocco dismantles drug, migrant smuggling ring

Moroccan authorities seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin in Tangier destined for international trafficking via seas.

RABAT - Moroccan authorities on Friday said they had dismantled a "criminal drug and migrant smuggling network" operating between the country's north coast and Spain.

Some 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin "destined for international trafficking via the seas" were seized in the northern port city of Tangier during an operation on Thursday, the Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations said in a statement.

The alleged mastermind of the network - which extended to people smuggling - and three accomplices were arrested, it added.

Six inflatable boats, three engines, air pumps and gas canisters were also seized, it said.

The Royal Navy on patrol mission in the Mediterranean aborted on January 27 a drug trafficking operation perpetrated by four individuals on board inflatable boat carrying a significant quantity of narcotics off Tangier coast.

A forty-minute chase of the boat resulted in the accidental death of one of the traffickers and the injury of another.

On January 9, the authorities seized a utility vehicle loaded with 311 kilograms of hashish and 25 kilograms of powdered tobacco in the city of Goulmima.