Dozens of “criminal networks” dismantled in Morocco
The Moroccan government says it has dismantled 74 “criminal networks” of human trafficking since the beginning of 2018 and “aborted” 54,000 attempts to cross the European Union.
More than 1,900 boats were seized during the same period.
Morocco is experiencing an influx of migrants and refugees who dream of reaching Europe.
Most of them try to reach the shores of Spain by sea, others try by land by crossing the fences separating Morocco from the Spanish enclaves in African territory of Ceuta and Melilla.
Spain is now the main gateway for migrants and asylum seekers in the European Union, with a total of 35,615 arrivals since the beginning of the year, according to the latest figures from the International Organization for Migration published on Friday.
The nationality of people stranded by Morocco on the road to Europe has not been specified by the Moroccan authorities.
Nor does the government mention measures taken after their interception.
On the way to Spain, 75% of migrants and refugees are men, 10% are women, the rest are children.
They come from Guinea (3,100), Morocco (2,600), Mali (2,200), Côte d’Ivoire (1,200) and Syria (1,000), according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Faced with the influx, the Moroccan authorities announced last week to have strengthened the fight against mafia networks.
A total of 230 people, including Moroccans and nationals of sub-Saharan Africa, have been arrested and brought to court since the beginning of the year, according to figures from the US Department of the Interior.