The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released its release Annual World Drug Report, Released on the eve of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, celebrated every June 26th. Morocco has been cited on several occasions. So, in the 2021 edition, it appears to be among the top 10 countries in the world where the largest cannabis resin was seized. “If we consider the long term (2009-2019), in terms of the amounts captured, the United States, Mexico, Paraguay, Colombia, Nigeria, Morocco, Brazil, India and Egypt represent one”.
“Large quantities of cannabis were seized by Spain, followed by the Islamic Republic of Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran” in 2019.
Morocco, the source and champion of seizures
However, the country is one of the largest exporters of this drug. The Office agrees that “the cannabis resin sold in the world comes mainly from Morocco and Afghanistan,” arguing that in response to the annual report questionnaire worldwide, the Kingdom accounts for one-fifth of all referred to as ‘native country’. Period 2015-2019 ”. “It continues to be the most frequently cited source of intercepted cannabis resin in the world,” it adds. In 2019, the report continues, Kingdom officials say about 21,000 hectares of cannabis are cultivated (mainly cultivated in the Rif region), up from 25,000 hectares in 2018.
An invention that has implications for local consumption of cannabis. In this sense, “the prevalence of cannabis consumption among students aged 15 to 17 in North African countries was 5% in Morocco last year (2017 figures) and 2.5% in Tunisia (2016) and Egypt (2016)”.
Among other drugs, cocaine seizures in Africa may have increased drug trafficking in the region. Thus, “the amount of cocaine seized in Africa has almost quadrupled from 2018 to 2019, and has multiplied eightfold compared to 2009, reaching almost 13 tonnes, a record (0.9% of global total)”. In addition, about 11.1 tonnes or 86% of the cocaine seized in Africa in 2019 was from countries in West and Central Africa, particularly Capo Verde (11 tonnes), North African countries (1.8 tonnes or 14%) in Africa as a whole, especially Morocco (1.5 tonnes). . The Kingdom is also considered a “transportation country” for cocaine smuggling into Europe.
Covid-19 and drug trafficking
Like last year, this report looks at the impact of the novel Corona virus epidemic novel on drug use and trafficking. “The analysis says the epidemic has caused growing economic hardship, which could make illegal drug cultivation more attractive to vulnerable rural communities,” he warns.
The UNOTC reveals that “cannabis resin smuggling in the Middle East and North Africa may not be affected by border closures during epidemics”. “Most of the cannabis smuggled into Europe goes to Spain via northern Morocco, but it can also pass through ports in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya before it reaches Spain.” Southeastern Europe, “he notes.
“During epidemics, criminal networks may have opened up new avenues using truck guards through southern Morocco. North African countries have noticed an increase in drug trafficking by sea, indicating an increasing tendency to use North Africa as a transportation hub for maritime drug trafficking.
Extract from the statement
Cannabis resource smugglers are not the only ones choosing maritime routes. In fact, according to the captured data, the smuggling of cocaine using marine containers continued into 2020, which may be much higher than in 2019. “This suggests that there was little or no interference in the smuggling of cocaine to Europe in the early stages of the epidemic. ”, A drug that passes through Morocco. Thus, in January 2021, two large cocaines were seized in Colombia and Morocco, Brazil, which weighed 1,539 kg and 460 kg, respectively, the document recalls.
“As the importance of these routes in North Africa has increased over the past several decades, the use of maritime routes not only for cannabis but also for cocaine has increased,” the report concludes.