Year
Morocco
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    Morocco

    Capital

    Rabat

    Population

    36,471,769

    Area

    446,550 km²

    Geography type

    Coastal

    Gross domestic product (GDP)

    USD 119,700.33 million

    GDP per capita

    $3,204.00

    Income group

    Lower middle income

    4.79-0.09

    Criminality Score

    35th of 54 African countries

    3rd of 6 North Africa countries

    Criminal market

    4.950.45

    Human Trafficking

    5.501.50

    Human Smuggling

    6.500.50

    Arms Trafficking

    3.001.50

    Flora Crimes

    3.000.50

    Fauna Crimes

    4.500.00

    Non-Renewable Resource Crimes

    3.000.00

    Heroin Trade

    3.000.50

    Cocaine Trade

    6.000.00

    Cannabis Trade

    9.000.00

    Synthetic Drug Trade

    6.000.00

    Criminal Actors

    4.63-0.62

    Mafia-Style Groups

    1.000.00

    Criminal Networks

    6.500.00

    State-Embedded Actors

    7.00-0.50

    Foreign Actors

    4.00-2.00

    4.63-1.70

    Resilience Score

    15th of 54 African countries

    2nd of 6 North Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    4.50-1.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    3.50-2.50

    International Cooperation

    6.00-1.00

    National Policies and Laws

    6.00-1.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    4.00-3.00

    Law Enforcement

    5.50-2.00

    Territorial Integrity

    6.00-0.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    3.50-2.50

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    4.50-1.00

    Victim and Witness Support

    4.50-1.50

    Prevention

    4.00-2.00

    Non-State Actors

    3.50-2.50

    4.625 4.625 4.95 4.625 4.625 4.95

    4.63-1.70

    Resilience Score

    15th of 54 African countries

    2nd of 6 North Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    4.50-1.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    3.50-2.50

    International Cooperation

    6.00-1.00

    National Policies and Laws

    6.00-1.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    4.00-3.00

    Law Enforcement

    5.50-2.00

    Territorial Integrity

    6.00-0.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    3.50-2.50

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    4.50-1.00

    Victim and Witness Support

    4.50-1.50

    Prevention

    4.00-2.00

    Non-State Actors

    3.50-2.50

    01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09

    People

    Morocco is a source, destination and transit country for the humantrafficking market. Undocumented female migrantsfrom sub-Saharan Africa, as well as from Southern Asia, are coerced into prostitution and forced labour, while a number of Filipino women are forced into domestic labour. Moroccan men, women and children are exploited in forced-labour and sex-trafficking markets abroad, primarily in Europe and the Middle East. Traffickers include Moroccan and foreign nationals who belong to sub-Saharan networks.

    Morocco is a transit and source country for migrant smuggling, with both foreign actors and Moroccans involved in human-smuggling operations. In 2018, the Moroccan routebecame the most important entry point to Europe. Rising levels of human smuggling havecontributed to local insecurity, with migrants being recruited into the informal and criminal economies. It has also sparked violence between migrants and security forces. Whilethe COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a relative decrease inhuman smuggling from Morocco to mainland Spain, the number of people smuggled to the Canary Islands is likely to have increased.

    Trade

    Morocco seems to be less exposed to arms trafficking than other countries in the region, but the armed movement in the Saharawi Republic continues to be a source of small and light weapons proliferation in Morocco. There have also been cases of weapon seizures from suspected terrorist cells present in the country.

    Environment

    Atlascedar trees are harvestedillegally for resale in Morocco, as well as exported by what is sometimes referred to as the Atlas cedar mafia. However, the actual volume of trafficking of this species is relatively low.Trafficking of protected animal speciessuch as the goldfinch and the Barbary macaque also takes place, with Europe often being the destination.Illegal, unreported and unregulatedfishing is another problem, with quotas and off-season fishing bans being violated frequently, while the trafficking of eelsdestined for Spanish and Asian markets is also prevalent.

    In terms of non-renewable-resource crimes, Morocco was once a fairly large exporter of gold to the United Arab Emirates, but this seems to have declined recently. Oil is still smuggled from Algeria to Morocco's border regions. However, the trafficking and illicit sale of petrol, which previously involved large numbers of unemployed individuals in north-eastern Morocco, has declined sharply since 2015.

    Drugs

    Morocco is one of the most important producers of cannabis in the world, with production concentrated in the Rif region, and trade traditionally centred in Chefchaouen and Ketama.While there is significantlocal consumption throughout the territory, Moroccan cannabis is also widely distributed across the entire wider region, as well as to European markets.Domestic cannabis cultivation and production are large contributors to the Moroccan economy, and although the tail end of 2020 saw an increased debate surrounding the potential legalization of cannabis, the illicit market as a whole has remained stable in recent years.

    There are regular reports of the increasing availability and consumption of heroin in northern Morocco, particularly in Nador and Tangier. Extensive drug trafficking takes place between Morocco and Spain, including of Afghan heroin that is shipped to Morocco before heading for European markets.Morocco is a key trans-shipment point for South American cocaine on its way into European markets, with large volumes of the drug being moved through Morocco viaits sea and air routes. While there is a limited local market –consisting mainly of the national elite, expats and tourists –cocaine trafficking through Morocco is increasing and the country is home to the first cocaine-processing lab in Africa. There have been reports of the widespread availability of Ecstasy in Morocco, as well as of crystalmethamphetamine and Karkoubiconsumption. Psychotropic drugs are apparentlybecoming increasingly prevalent. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdownsis likely to haveslowed down imports, at least temporarily, of synthetic drugs, heroin and cocaine.

    Criminal Actors

    The so-called Moroccan mafia is made up of many criminal networkswhose members are Moroccan or of Moroccan descent. These networks are active in the country as well as abroad, particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium. They are composed of several gangs and are involved mainly in cannabis trafficking between Morocco and Europe. Despite their name, these groups do not have the characteristicsof a mafia-style organization (there is no evidence to suggest that mafia-style groups exist in the country), but functionrather as criminal networks involved in common crimes. These networksare highly flexible and tend to diversify their smuggling activities, especially at Morocco's borders with its North African neighbours, despite an enhanced police presence in these areas.

    Foreign criminal networks made up of LatinAmerican drugtrafficking organizations and Italian organizedcrime groups arealso active in Morocco, although the degree of their activities is limited and their impact is minimal. Nevertheless, they dohave strong ties with domestic criminal networks in Morocco. There is low-level corruption among lawenforcement officers and services that protect trafficking networks. High-level officials in the security forces, military and government are involved in Morocco's organizedcrime markets. In particular, drugtrafficking networks are believed to have connections inMorocco's highest political and administrative circles.

    Leadership and governance

    Political interests and influence prevent the Moroccan authorities from truly transforming their efforts to tackle organized crime. The government's decision to emphasize stability over the rule of law has enabled the humantrafficking, humansmuggling and petrolsmuggling markets to proliferate. However, the interior minister and other state officials have attempted to introduce changes aimed at cannabis use. Political debates often centre on the issue of cannabis, and many in the political sphere advocate for the drug's legalization. The government has also made important strides in combating the illicit-arms trade. In spite of this, there is a notable lack of transparency in matters related to royal interests, and the accountability of lawenforcement and military personnel is minimal.The chronic corruption witnessed in Morocco was further highlighted amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the government awarded public contracts with very little transparency or oversight. Overall, the Moroccan government, despite the rhetoric, has done little to combat corruption and improve transparency and accountability.

    Morocco has ratified a number of international treaties and conventions onorganized crime. Ithas also engaged in effective international cooperation efforts, particularly with regard to intelligence sharing. The country is open to receiving international assistance, but there are issuesrelated to extradition. On a domestic level, Morocco has strong anti-organizedcrime legislation and a legal framework based on civillaw. However, it is the implementation of the legal framework that is lacking. Moreover, the country does not have a clear national strategy against organized crime.

    Criminal justice and security

    Although the constitutional reform of 2011 officially granted the judicial system a greater degree of independence, in practice the degree of independence of the judiciary in Morocco is low and the country’s courts are often used to target opposition voices. While the court system experienced disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020, prosecutions of various forms of organized crime did take place, although with regard to human trafficking judicial proceedings, prosecutors often fail to correctly distinguish between trafficking and smuggling. Prisons in Morocco are overcrowded and human rights abuses of those detained in the country’s prison system are regularly reported. The country’s lawenforcement agency has recently created special investigative units, which are well equipped but limited in their overall capacity, especially in rural areas. Cooperation between Morocco's security forces could be improved. With regard toits territorial integrity, extensive smuggling,facilitated by corruption,takes place through Morocco's ports.

    Economic and financial environment

    Morocco has a relatively strong economy for the region, but economic disparities exist within the country. It has a sizable informal economy, one of the largest in the region as a proportion of its GDP, which the government has been trying to reel inby introducing simplified administrative measures. Morocco has been assessed as being at high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, as has been on the EU’s so-called ‘greylist’ of countries assessed to be non-cooperative for tax purposes since 2017. However, it has now set up a financial-intelligenceprocessing unit to tackle money laundering and the financing of terrorism, which has helped the authorities uphold international anti-moneylaundering standards. At the end of 2020, a revised version of the criminal code related to money laundering wasbeing drafted in Parliament to strengthen sanctions.

    Civil society and social protection

    Victims of human trafficking do not receive adequate treatment and protection in Morocco, and the country has very few measures in place to help them exit from modern-day slavery. Drug addiction is being increasingly recognized as a medical condition, and Morocco is one of very few countries in the region to allow opioid-substitution treatment through the use of methadone. Drug-treatment and rehabilitation centres exist but are insufficient. Crimeprevention activities take place across the country,but they are not widespread and are implemented mostly by foundations andNGOs.

    Morocco has a capable and well-organized civil society, which is active in a variety of fields. However, there has been a notable crackdown on civil society, and in particular on journalists, by the authorities in recent years. Media organizations are subjected to significant externalpressure, and investigative journalism remains rare. Many professional journalists, as well as citizenjournalists, have been imprisoned. In 2020, a law aimed at restricting freedom of expression on social-media platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic was drafted, and eventually withdrawn, but the government, following widespread backlash by civilsociety activists and opposition political parties

    Analyses

    Sand trafficking: Morocco’s silent menace

    The high demand for sand is fueling trafficking and organised crime that threaten the country’s coastal ecosystems.

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    The criminal markets score is represented by the pyramid base size and the criminal actors score is represented by the pyramid height, on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. The resilience score is represented by the panel height, which can be identified by the side of the panel.