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Morocco security officials arrested in corruption swoop

Moroccan security forces stand guard in Rabat (© 2009 AFP)

An unspecified number of security officials accused of corruption on Morocco’s northern coast have been arrested as part of a judicial inquiry ordered by the king, government sources said on Friday.

Those arrested include police agents and customs officers stationed in the ports of Tangier, Nador and Al-Hoceima, with the probe currently targeting between 15 and 20 people, the sources told AFP.

“This inquiry was decided by the king of Morocco following complaints by Moroccan nationals living abroad who have been inconvenienced during their visits at several border posts,” the palace said in a statement.

The written and oral complaints recently came to the attention of the king.

“The king has ordered the opening of an inquiry, in conformity with the law, relating to the fraudulent behaviour, corruption and harassment exercised by members of the security services assigned” to the border posts, the palace added.

The probe is also expected to target middlemen illegally offering transit services to Moroccans travellers in exchange for cash, according to other sources.

Observers say there are large numbers of these unemployed intermediaries, who hang around the northern ports offering to assist the travellers by liaising with members of the security forces.

Signature : RABAT (AFP)

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