North Africa

Italian police score hashish mega-haul in Mediterranean

Posted on June 8th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

ItalyItalian police staged a joint operation in the Mediterranean with Turkish, French, Egyptian, Spanish, Moroccan and Europol forces June 5, intercepting a Turkish cargo ship that was found to be loaded with 12 tons of hashish, valued at an estimated 40 million euros. The 10 Turkish crew members were detained, according to Turkey's BGN News. The Italian Coast Guard received a tip-off from Turkish authorities that there were drugs aboard the vessel Meryam, which was sailing from a Moroccan port. Troops intercepted and boarded the ship in the Strait of Siciliy, which separates Italy from Tunisia. Maritime Executive reports that the ship and crew are being held at the Sicilian port of Palermo.

Morocco-Libya hashish pipeline?

Posted on June 12th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan police have announced the seizure of nearly 30 tons of hashish in Casablanca, one of the largest hauls in the top cannabis-exporting country in years. According to the official MAP news agency, police raided a warehouse in the port city June 7, seizing 12 tons of chira, after the discovery a day earlier of 16.7 tons hidden inside a shipping container at the port, thought to be part of the same consignment.  The container was apparently bound for Libya. Police arrested two men, including one said to be the leader of the smuggling ring. Judicial police chief Abdelhak Khayyam said an investigation has been launched into "a large-scale trafficking operation, sending the drug to an Arab country via Casablanca port."

Morocco questions cannabis prohibition

Posted on December 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan lawmakers on Dec. 4 opened an unprecedented debate on legalizing medical and industrial uses of cannabis. The discussion of positive uses of cannabis cultivation "in creating an alternative economy" in Morocco, one of the world's top exporters, was convened following a campaign by dissident politicians.  "We are organizing a research day in parliament...on the use of medical kif, with Moroccan and international experts present," said Mehdi Bensaid, an MP with the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), adding that lawmakers are "looking at controlled rather than total legalization." Activists from Switzerland spoke about their country's experience with a recent decrim law at the session, which Bensaid called "the first step towards a draft law."

Morocco hashish exports through the roof

Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

North AfricaAlgeria  seized more than 127 metric tons of hashish coming in from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, authorities announced Oct. 2. Some 12,500 suspected traffickers were arrested and large quantities of various  psychotropic pills were also confiscated in raids. (These two trades seem to together in Middle East networks.) Algeria has officially closed its border with the conservative kingdom to the west since 1994, citing political tensions and the flow of contraband. But the trade obviously flourishes, with subsidized Algerian fuel  smuggled into Morocco in a dope-for-oil deal. In 2012, more than 157 tons of cannabis were seized in Algeria, compared with 53  in 2011. The explosion has prompted Algiers to beef up security on its western frontier. (Lebanon Daily Star, Oct. 2)

French navy pops 20 tons in sea raid

Posted on September 13th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

The French navy announced Sept. 12 that it had made a record cannabis seizure in the Mediterranean sea after intercepting a ship carrying 20 tons, with an estimated value of 50 million euros. "To the best of our knowledge it is the biggest seizure by the French state in the Mediterranean," vice-admiral Yves Joly told reporters in Toulon. The Tanzania-flagged Luna-S was boarded by French naval forces in international waters between Italy and Algeria. The eight-member crew, tentatively identified as Syrians, set the cannabis on fire as the French patrol ship approached, and dramatic photos were released of smoke rising from the deck. The Luna-S had left Morocco days earlier. Tanzanian authorities say they are investigating the ship, which was registered to a company in the Marshall Islands. 

Sahara separatists in cannabis crackdown

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

North AfricaSecurity forces of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic on Aug. 19 announced the seizure of 300 kilograms  of cannabis in operations along the security wall built by the Moroccan military, which divides Morocco-occupied Western Sahara on the western side from the interior desert controlled by the  Sahrawi rebels. In a statement to the press, the Saharawi National Gendarmerie Directorate said their patrols "have arrested three groups [that] were smuggling drugs from Morocco to northern Mali via the Saharawi liberated territory." The statement said five four-wheel-drive vehicles had been seized as well. "These groups are now at the hand of Saharawi justice," added the statement.

Morocco: more hash seized

Posted on August 14th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

North AfricaMorocco's royal navy intercepted two dinghies loaded with 2.725 tons of cannabis resin (locally known as chira) off the coast of Nador on Aug. 13. The four occupants of the boat, equipped with two 200-horsepower engines, managed to escape.

Morocco: six tons incinerated

Posted on May 30th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

North AfricaMorocco's Royal Gendarmerie announced the seizure and incineration of 5.8 tons of "chira" or cannabis in the southeastern province of Errachidia this month. Last December, Moroccan authorities seized nearly 10 tons of cannabis in the same region and arrested six suspected members of an international trafficking network—three Malians, two Moroccans and one Algerian.

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