Morocco: Seven individuals arrested in Casablanca for kidnapping, blackmail
The dismantled criminal network, including a security officer from the Casablanca police prefecture and a wanted fugitive, was involved in kidnapping, forcible confinement and identity theft for the purpose of extortion, DGSN said in a press release.
The operation was conducted by elements of the National Bureau for the Fight against Economic and Financial Crimes, part of the BCIJ.
The defendants were apprehended on the basis of accurate information provided by the services of the Directorate General for Territorial Surveillance (DGST).
According to preliminary investigations, five suspects had lured their victim, who is active in the illegal exchange of currencies, following the conclusion of a fictitious agreement to transfer “Bitcoin” digital currencies, before they impersonated police officers and arrested him in the outskirts of Casablanca for extortion.
The searches and interventions led to the arrest of the defendants in flagrante delicto while they were carrying a false search warrant of the victim’s home in the “Dar Bouazza” district in the vicinity of Casablanca, with the aim of stealing sums of money obtained from presumed illegal transfers, the DGSN press release said.
The search carried out in the context of this case, in particular at the home of the alleged victim, resulted in the seizure of a large sum of money, exceeding MAD 1.1 billion ($118.6 million). The inspection of the homes of the defendants led to the seizure of mobile phones, a motorcycle and four cars, one of which contained two knives and a glove box suspected of being used for criminal purposes.
The five defendants directly implicated in these criminal acts, the brother of the arrested police officer and his fiancée, as well as the alleged victim of these crimes, were placed in police custody awaiting the investigations to determine the ins and outs of this case and to intercept any possible links with money laundering.