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Morocco Holds Bulgarians, Iranians in Trafficking Probe

Morocco Holds Bulgarians, Iranians in Trafficking Probe

Thursday, 14 April, 2022 - 06:00
Moroccan special forces stand guard at the entrance of a building. Reuters file photo

Moroccan police have arrested several Bulgarians and Iranians linked to a migrant smuggling network, the DGSN intelligence service said on Wednesday.

Officers at the international airport in Casablanca detained four Bulgarian nationals and three Iranians on Tuesday "for suspected links with an international human trafficking and clandestine immigration network," a DGSN statement said.

The Iranians were caught trying to reach Spain with fake documents "according to a criminal modus operandi which consists of registering fraudulently on several flights", it added.

The Bulgarians were involved in planning the illegal immigration attempt, AFP reported.

Investigators are continuing to examine "the international ramifications" of this network, the DGSN said.

Migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, regularly use Morocco as a launchpad for attempts to reach European shores.

Last year more than 4,000 migrants died or went missing in such attempts, mostly as they tried to reach the Canary Islands, according to rights group Caminando Fronteras.

Morocco is in the process of reactivating migration cooperation with Spain as part of moves to normalize ties.

Earlier this month the DGSN said Moroccan police arrested four suspects helping people to sell their organs to go abroad, in particular to Turkey, in connection with a criminal network.

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