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Morocco seizes 541kg of cocaine and cash, arrests six people

Cartels are using Morocco’s unique position that joins Atlantic Ocean to Mediterranean, near European countries
Cocaine previously seized from container that arrived in Spain via Morocco (AFP)

Moroccan authorities said on Sunday they had seized almost 541kg of cocaine in a container from Latin America that arrived in Casablanca.

Six people including a Brazilian suspected of being the "mastermind of a criminal network" were arrested, according to the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ).

It also seized five vehicles and "large sums of money" in Moroccan dirhams and other currencies.

In a statement, the BCIJ said it was investigating a "dangerous" criminal network linked to Latin American cartels.

Cocaine traffickers have developed new routes to Europe over the past decade.

The drug is mostly sent from Central America via West African countries and more recently through North Africa, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The investigation shows the danger posed by this particular criminal network, which likely has been taking advantage of Morocco’s unique strategic position that joins the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean, close to European countries, the Morocco World News said.

In recent years, the Moroccan authorities have reported increasing cocaine seizures, including a record 2.5-tonne haul last October.