Rabat – Police in Marrakech have seized tens of thousands of bottles of illegal and expired alcohol from several restaurants, including bottles with suspicious customs stamps.
The seizure is part of control operations on alcoholic beverages in Marrakech on September 8 and 9, in cooperation with Morocco’s Customs and Indirect Tax Services and the National Office for Food Safety.
The operations in Marrakech led to the seizure of 272 bottles with suspicious customs stamps, 34 bottles of expired alcohol, illegal champagne, and tens of thousands of bottles of alcohol unfit for consumption.
Marrakech police also seized a large batch of suspicious tax stamps.
The seizures exposed six contraventions related to non-compliance of authorization and eight cases related to the employment of people without authorization.
Violations also include non-compliance with preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks.
The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) subjected 10 managers of restaurants and deposits to preliminary inquiries under the supervision of the public prosecutor’s office.
DGSN said in a press release that the operations in Marrakech fall within the framework of a nationwide campaign relating to the violation of the state of health emergency, in addition to those related to the exploitation of authorizations for the illegal sale of alcohol.
Marrakech is not the only city where police detected alcohol violations. Police in the city of Fez seized 74,505 bottles of alcohol of foreign trademarks that do not comply with tax customs provisions on September 8.
On September 4, the National Judicial Police Brigade (BNPJ) led an operation to seize one million bottles of alcohol, smuggled and expired, in several Moroccan cities. The operation saw the participation of police from Casablanca, Had Soualem, Khouribga, Beni Mellal, and Oued Zem.
In addition to the confiscation of the illegal alcohol, police seized 203,016 counterfeit tax stamps used on the smuggled products, as well as a sum of money estimated at MAD 9.23 million ($1 million).