Taroudant – Light to heavy rain hit several parts of Morocco this week but Askaoun, a small mountainous village at the foot of the Atlas Mountain chain, was hit by heavy snowfall leaving the village, with its typical picturesque winter image, under a blanket of snow.Perched on the low range of the High Atlas Mountain in Morocco, the village of Askaoun, more than 2,000 meters above sea level, and about 280 kilometers far from Marrakech, was cut off the rest of the world after about 25 to 30 cm snowfall.The beauty of the snow, which covered trees, mountains and houses, stunned the villagers, who rushed to snap a couple of picturesque shots of the snowed village. Photo credit: Rachid El Hiyani and Hassan Erraji
Rabat – Moroccan law enforcement has confiscated thousands of kilograms of cocaine this year from South American cartels.Contacted by Spanish outlet El Pais, a specialist close to the unit combating drug trafficking in Morocco, who requested anonymity, explained that the increase in drug trafficking from South America to Morocco in 2018 is due to intensified security at the US-Mexico border since the election of Donald Trump.The specialist added that the US and European countries have sent increasing numbers of anti-narcotics specialists to Morocco. Another European researcher speaking anonymously stated that South American cartels have been using Africa as a transport point for many years to send drugs to Europe.Read Also: Casablanca Police Arrest African with 2 Kilograms of Cocaine in StomachHe said the cartels have increased their activity in recent years, and Moroccan police have been specializing in fighting cocaine.To better manage distribution, the cartels have sought to facilitate the shipping of cocaine. Drug dealers have used various methods in Morocco ranging from ingesting cocaine in capsules to using a farm for storage. Cartels also planned to build a secret runway on the outskirts of Dakhla for airplanes, but Moroccan law enforcement intervened and arrested the individuals involved in the making of the runway.The cartels use “mules” to transport cocaine. Often, mules are economically disadvantaged people from developing nations in Africa, making it hard for investigators to eliminate the top figures in drug operations.The traffickers view Morocco’s proximity to Spain as a safe route to transport their drugs.The short trip across the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain allows drug dealers to quickly access European markets and is less watched than the US-Mexico border.In the past 12 months, Moroccan police arrested 15 cocaine dealers in Temara and seized 2.5 tons, and seven individuals with a truck loaded with 1 ton of cocaine, among others.In 2017, authorities seized a total of 2,588 kilograms of cocaine.