27,317 illegal immigrants arrested in Morocco in 2019

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BENYOUNECH, MOROCCO: African immigrants are guarded by Moroccan army after they were caught in the forest of Benyounch, on the Moussa mountain, near a border-crossing between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Ceuta, 29 September 2005. Five people died and more than 90 were injured when hundreds of would-be immigrants tried to storm a border-crossing between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Ceuta early 29 September, as the countries' prime ministers held a summit on illegal immigration. AFP/PHOTO/ ABDELHAK SENNA. (Photo credit should read ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: African immigrants are guarded by Moroccan army after they were caught in the forest of Benyounch, on the Moussa mountain, near a border-crossing between Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta. (Photo credit ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Moroccan authorities have arrested 27,317 illegal immigrants in 2019, including 20,141 foreigners, the Moroccan police revealed in its annual report.

During 2019, a total of 62 trafficking networks were busted, and 505 people involved in human trafficking and migrant smuggling arrested, according to police statistics published by local media on Wednesday.

Some of 3,021 false travel or identity documents were seized, the report added.

Morocco has become a transit country for African migrants seeking to reach Europe for better life conditions.

During 2017 and 2018 some 50,000 migrants living in Morocco have benefited from measures to legalize their status, representing about 85 percent of the total number of applications submitted by foreigners of 113 nationalities.

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