Moroccan security services have announced the arrest of five drug traffickers near the southern city of Tan-Tan and the seizure of 2 Kalashnikovs, 48 bullets, 2 hunting rifles loaded with 8 rounds, as well as 3 bikes.
According to a press release issued by the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), the preliminary investigation showed that the Kalashnikovs and ammunition were provided by the polisario members to the drug dealers to carry out their criminal activities.
The investigation also seeks to determine possible ramifications with organized crime networks in the Sahel regions, the DGSN added.
Morocco had sounded the alarm over the situation in the Sahel where terrorists are increasingly resorting to organized crime and trafficking to fund their activities.
Moroccan authorities had also warned the international community against the fallout of the connivance between terrorists and organized crime groups in the Sahel, which has become a safe zone for several terror groups, including AQIM and ISIS.
According to Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), several members of the Algeria-backed Polisario separatist group joined AQIM and have been involved in terror attacks in the Sahel region.
The head of BCIJ, Abdelhak El Khiame, said last year that his bureau managed to identify more than 100 members of the Polisario Front operating in AQIM “along which they have been involved in attacks in northern Mauritania.”