Morocco authorities unearth nine tonnes of cannabis resin buried in sand

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There’s plenty of sand in Morocco, so burying 9.2 tonnes of cannabis resin bales in the middle of it might have made perfect sense to drug dealers. But the bid to escape detection by using an obvious hiding place didn’t work out at all.

The weed resin, packed into large bales, was found buried in sand on the outskirts of Guelmim in southwestern Morocco, according to the country’s national security service.

La Direction Générale de la Sûreté Nationale (DGSN) notes that the drugs were seized and an investigation has kicked off.

In a translated tweet Saturday, DGSN reports that it discovered nine tonnes and 177 kilograms of chira, what locals call hashish, “in a qualitative operation to fight international trafficking in drugs and psychotropes (psychotropic drugs).” The joint operation involving the National Security Agency and the General Directorate of National Land Monitoring was in field coordination with gendarmes, adds another tweet.

“Morocco remains the country most reported by Member States as the source of cannabis resin, followed by Afghanistan and, to a lesser extent, Lebanon, India and Pakistan,” notes a 2017 report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

That said, authorities report cracking down on the illicit drug trade. The latest seizure was massive, to be sure, but is one of several recent confiscations by the authorities, according to africacgtn.com.

Authorities report cracking down on the illicit drug trade. / DGSN, Twitter

Among others, more than a tonne of cannabis was found in December secreted away on the backs of a herd of unaccompanied camels, and in October, the authorities seized 16-plus tonnes of cannabis resin during two separate busts, including one involving more than 11 tonnes concealed in a shipment of agricultural products for export.
“Possession and the use of substances or plants classified as narcotics, and the fact of facilitating the use of these substances or plants by any means, are punished,” notes information from European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. “Drug use remains a criminal offence in Morocco.”
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