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Illegal immigration: Morocco thwarts more than 76,000 attempts in 2018

Moroccan authorities have foiled over 76,000 illegal immigration attempts since the beginning of 2018, a Moroccan official said Tuesday in Rabat.

Speaking at a parliamentary session, Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior, Noureddine Boutayeb, said a total of 174 trafficking networks have been busted so far this year.

Earlier official statistics showed 68,000 attempts were foiled and 122 trafficking networks were dismantled in the first nine months of 2018.

Since 2002, more than 3,400 criminal networks were dismantled and some 2,000 boats carrying illegal immigrants were seized, Boutayeb said.

As for the attempts to storm the fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, the minister noted that his country thwarted 33 “violent attempts.”

Morocco has become a hub for African migrants who seek to reach Europe for a better life.

Thousands of migrants are trying to flee poverty and unrest in Africa each year via Morocco to Europe, either by land into Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish ports in the Moroccan territory, or by sea to Spain or Italy, often in flimsy vessels.

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