Morocco finds hashish shipment disguised as orange juice

A handout photo released by the French customs (Douanes Francaises) on October 22, 2017 shows bags containing canabis resin, seized by the French customs on the nights between October 19 and October 20, 2017, in La Rochelle. (AFP)
Updated 14 March 2018
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Morocco finds hashish shipment disguised as orange juice

RABAT: Moroccan customs officials said Tuesday that they had seized 240 kilograms of hashish squeezed into orange juice cartons destined for export at the port city of Casablanca.
Authorities said the stash was found after a check of the supposed shipment of fruit drink showed up some “discrepancies.”
After a search, bricks of cannabis resin totaling 240 kilograms (530 pounds) were found “carefully concealed inside cartons of orange juice from a local brand,” said a statement by the customs authorities carried by local media.
In a bid to outfox officials the smugglers had added sand to the shipment to make it weigh the same as a consignment of juice, it said.
North African nation Morocco is the biggest producer of hashish in the world and one of the major exporters of cannabis resin, which is mainly shipped to Europe, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Some 50,000 hectares of agricultural land were used for the production of cannabis, mostly in the impoverished northern Rif region, statistics from 2015 said.
In 2016, one of the world’s most wanted hashish smugglers was captured in Casablanca.
Ben Ziane Berhili, 57, the owner of a large dessert company in Morocco, was involved in smuggling 400 tons of hashish to Europe every year, according to Italian investigators.
His arrest was a major development in a multinational investigation into a lucrative new drug trafficking route to Europe that begins in Morocco and passes along the coast of North Africa to Libya, where it includes an area contested by several armed groups, including Daesh.


Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

Updated 17 December 2018
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Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

  • The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE"
  • He also said any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible

JEDDAH: Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malek stressed on the importance of managing funds to Yemen from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to achieve the intended goals.
He said the main challenge facing the Yemeni government lies in its ability to continue paying the salaries of its employees, and “this is what the government is working on through allocating financial funds in this field as it's priority.”
The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the latest of which was the $500 million supply initiative, stressing the need to coordinate with international organizations working in Yemen to deliver aid.”
He also added that any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible, which will help the budget significantly.
“The challenges that will face Yemenis next year are big. We should not think of aid only, it is also necessary to think about helping the Yemeni economy and protecting it from further deterioration,” he said.
This, he added, also requires guarantees that contribute to the arrival of food aid, as well as looking into the activities and programs related to foreign organizations, with the aim of directing them to the areas in dire need of humanitarian and relief assistance.
The prime minister also pointed to the humanitarian impact that will result from the project of rehabilitation of the Al-Dalea road, which comes within the comprehensive humanitarian operations plan in Yemen and through the Isnad Center for Comprehensive Humanitarian Aid.