Morocco seizes 24 tons of hashish after slain busts ring

Spanish police also seized $2.2 million in cash as well as several weapons

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Moroccan security forces seized nearly 24 tons of hashish from a number of boats and arrested 11 people after an overnight chase off the northern coast, the MAP news agency reported Saturday.

The operation came hours after Spanish police said they had seized 11 tons of hashish and detained 55 people across the country as part of an operation targeting a Moroccan drug trafficking ring.

Spain’s proximity to North Africa, a major source of hashish, and its close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a key cocaine-producing region, have made it the main gateway into Europe for narcotics.

The Spanish raids were carried out throughout the country, including Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, as well as the Spanish exclave of Ceuta on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast.

Spanish police also seized $2.2 million in cash as well as several weapons, including assault rifles, as part of the operation that followed a two-year investigation.

The Moroccan agency did not provide any further details on the extent to which the two operations may have been linked.

But police source in Spain said the gang would smuggle the drugs into Spain on speedboats or hidden inside the fuel tanks of trucks.

Morocco is one of the world’s principal producers of hashish, and the interior ministry estimates that more than 700,000 people make a living from cultivating cannabis, from which the resin is produced.

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