Police and gendarmes involved in drug trafficking

For over three months, police have been following the trail of a drug trafficking network operating along the coast between El Jadida, Casablanca and Bouznika. No fewer than forty suspects, including the ring leader, police officers and gendarmes, have been arrested in this case.

For the past three months, arrests have been continuing in the case of El Jadida drug baron Bouchaïb Hamdoune. Over forty suspects have been arrested, including gendarmes, police officers, members of the Royal Navy, shipping company bosses and entrepreneurs. The latest arrests date back to the end of last week and concern three police officers and a member of the Royal Navy, who were brought before the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the El Jadida Court of Appeal on Monday June 26 by members of the National Judicial Police Brigade, on bail. The latter placed them in the hands of the examining magistrate of the El Jadida court of first instance, who decided to arrest them and take them to the local Sidi Moussa prison in El Jadida. They are the head of the judicial police brigade attached to the Zmamra police station, a police officer working in the El Jadida judicial police department and a police officer working in the urban corps attached to the Zmamra police station. The first is accused of disclosing professional secrecy, while the other two are charged with complicity in drug trafficking. The Royal Navy officer in charge of the Azemmour radar was also charged with complicity in drug trafficking.
 On Wednesday June 21, eleven members of the Royal Gendarmerie were brought before the Criminal Division of the El Jadida Court of First Instance for their involvement in the same case. While only one of them, the former head of the Royal Gendarmerie Center in Sidi Bouzid, was kept under arrest, the ten others, including four female gendarmes, are being prosecuted on bail. They are all accused of facilitating drug trafficking in exchange for bribes. 
On Thursday June 15, the Correctional Chamber of the El Jadida Court of First Instance delivered its verdict against drug baron Hamdoune, sentencing him to 10 years’ imprisonment. As for the 24 suspects who appeared in court with him, 17 of them were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment suspended for one month, while the 7 others were acquitted. In addition to Hamdoune, 3 of the suspects were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, 8 to 5 years’ imprisonment, 2 to two and a half years’ imprisonment, 2 to 2 years’ imprisonment, 1 to 3 years’ imprisonment, a 23rd suspect to 3 months’ imprisonment and the last suspect to 1 month’s suspended imprisonment. The judgement was accompanied by a decision to pay damages of around 462 million dirhams by the 12 people sentenced to 10 and 5 years of criminal imprisonment to the Customs Administration. 
Last March, police began arresting members of this drug trafficking network, which was active all along the coast from the Jorf Lasfar region to Bouznika, via Casablanca, smuggling drug shipments by sea using fast inflatable dinghies.

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