Morocco Arrests Suspect Near Oujda for Facilitating Irregular Migration

Morocco Arrests Suspect Near Oujda for Facilitating Irregular Migration

Rabat – Morocco’s police arrested on Wednesday a man for his alleged links with a network active in the organization of irregular migration in Saidia, a city near Oujda.

Security services arrested the suspect, 30, while he was trying to transport maritime navigation equipment from a tourist complex, aboard a vehicle bound for a coastal area in Saidia.

Eleven Moroccan candidates for irregular migration accompanied the suspect.

The would-be irregular migrants were aged between 18 and 48, a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said.

DGSN said the arrest was in collaboration with the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST).

Searches enabled police to seize an inflatable boat, a marine engine, eight oars, an air pump, 13 life jackets, nine liters of engine oil, and eight plastic drums containing 200 liters of fuel, DGSN announced.

Police put the suspect and would-be irregular migrants in custody for further investigation to determine the circumstances of the case and to identify possible international ramifications of the criminal network.

The operation is part of Morocco’s approach to continue to intensify efforts against irregular migration and human trafficking.

Morocco’s security services, including the Royal Navy, police, and Gendarmerie, have carried out scores of similar operations throughout the year.

One of the most recent operations took place on Saturday, when police arrested three suspects in Nador, eastern Morocco, for their alleged involvement in a case of fraud and irregular migration.

Police intervened when they received complaints from seven candidates for irregular migration who accused the suspects of fraud.

The defendants proposed taking the would-be migrants to Spain for $3,276 per person.

An investigation led to the seizure of 10 traditional boats, including one equipped with an engine.

Last year, police arrested 27,317 would-be migrants. Moroccans represented 26% of those arrested trying to migrate without documents.

The North African country aborted 74,000 irregular migration attempts last year.