Morocco seizes ‘record’ 27.3 tons of cannabis resin

An Afghan National Army soldier walks through a marijuana field during a patrol near Panjwaii town in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, November 13, 2007. (Reuters)
Updated 08 July 2019

Morocco seizes ‘record’ 27.3 tons of cannabis resin

  • The drugs were discovered Sunday evening at the vast Tanger Med port in three vehicles

RABAT: Moroccan police seized a “record” 27.3 tons of cannabis resin hidden in trucks bound for Europe, the country’s security service said Monday.
The drugs were discovered Sunday evening at the vast Tanger Med port in three vehicles “believed to be transporting industrial equipment,” the General Directorate for National Security said in a statement.
The “record” quantity of resin was found “divided among 16 containers in the trailers of the three trucks,” the statement added.
The drivers and their three assistants, all Moroccan, were arrested and taken into police custody.
Tanger Med in northern Morocco is one of Africa’s largest ports and is within sight of the Spanish coast.
Morocco is one of the main global producers and exporters of cannabis resin, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Production is concentrated in the north of the country, where some 47,000 hectares of agricultural land were used for cannabis cultivation, according to UNODC statistics from 2016.
Moroccan police seized 52 tons of cannabis resin last year, according to official figures.


Kais Saied wins Tunisia presidency by ‘significant margin’

Updated 14 October 2019

Kais Saied wins Tunisia presidency by ‘significant margin’

  • Saied garnered 2.7 million votes against one million received by his rival business tycoon Nabil Karoui in Sunday's runoff, the commission said

TUNIS: Tunisia's election commission said a preliminary count shows conservative law professor Kais Saied has won the country's presidential election by a significant margin.
The commission reported Monday that Saied, who hasn't held elected office before, received 72.71% of the vote. His opponent, media mogul Nabil Karoui, got 27.29%.
The results confirm exit polls from Sunday's election.
Nabil Bafoun, head of the electoral commission, said "by looking at the result ... and knowing that it represents an absolute majority for this second round of the presidential elections, we, the Tunisian electoral commission, declare Mister Kais Saied winner of the presidential elections."
The commission said that Saied got a majority of the votes in each of the 33 electoral districts. He exceeded 90% in six traditionally very conservative southern districts.
The 61-year-old Saied is an independent outsider but has support from moderate party Ennahdha, which won Tunisia's parliamentary election last week.
He has promised to overhaul the country's governing structure to give more power to young people and local governments.
Karoui, 56, told supporters Sunday the race wasn't over because his legal team would explore options. He was arrested Aug. 23 in a corruption investigation and released with only two days left to campaign.
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Saied for his election in a phone call Monday and wished him "success for Tunisia."
Macron stressed the Tunisian people's "democratic mobilization" over the past several weeks. He told Saied that he intends to pursue and enhance the partnership between the two countries.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi congratulated the Tunisian people and the elected president in a written statement.
If no legal action is taken to challenge the results, the electoral body is set to announce the definitive vote count on Thursday. Tunisia's parliament will then hold an extraordinary session during which the newly elected president will be sworn in and will formally start his five-year term.
The presidential vote was held early following the July death in office of President Beji Caid Essebsi.