PARIS – A record amount of Moroccan cannabis was seized last week in Angers (western France), local press reported Thursday citing police judiciary.
This is more than 2.5 tons of resin that represent about 25 million euros of goods, says the same source.
Cannabis is the most widely used in France after alcohol, tobacco and psychotropic drugs.
According to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Addiction (EMCDDA), France, which is in the process of joining the list of countries that have legalized the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, ranks fourth in the world. European Union behind the Czech Republic, Spain and Italy in terms of monthly consumption.
The quantity seized in Angers was in a dozen suitcases "Moroccan" each containing more than 30 kg inside a van parked in a neighborhood in the south of the city, it was said.
According to the police, these are real organized professional traffickers. Four men between the ages of 26 and 37 were indicted and placed in pre-trial detention, according to the same source, which states that they are all from western France.
"This is indeed a very, very big catch, the biggest in metropolitan France in 2018," said the Angers public prosecutor, Yves Gambert.
Last July, more than five tons of cannabis, valued at 42 million euros for resale, were seized in a week by French Customs in southwestern France. Moroccan cannabis is the lion's share (about 80%) of cannabis for sale on the French market.
During the year 2018, a significant amount was seized and just for the year 2017, according to the Ministry of Action and Public Accounts, nearly 100 tons of narcotics, including 64.7 tons of cannabis , were intercepted, both in France, on the high seas and abroad thanks to the information of the French customs officers.
In addition, a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicated that Morocco is one of the largest cannabis producers in the world, including the cultivable area in Morocco of cannabis resin is estimated at 47,500 hectares.
Moroccan production is mainly destined for the markets of Africa and Western Europe.