Trial of “Treasure hunting Gang” Begins in Ouarzazate Criminal Court of Appeal

Trial of “Treasure hunting Gang” Begins in Ouarzazate Criminal Court of Appeal


Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- The criminal court of appeal in Ouarzazate has commenced the trial of a group of suspects who have been detained in the local prison on charges related to a case known in local media as the “Treasure Hunting Gang”. The suspects, including a local religious leader, a community president, a contractor, and others, are facing charges of being involved in a criminal gang, human trafficking, demolishing a building that did not belong to them, and committing sexual crimes against a woman and a minor.

The case dates back to 2017 when a woman filed a complaint against a government employee and a religious leader for exploiting her sexually in occult practices aimed at treasure hunting. The accused individuals were subsequently arrested and detained pending trial.

During the hearing held on April 27th, the defense requested more time to prepare their case, leading to the postponement of the trial to May 4th. The court also rejected all requests for temporary release from the suspects.

It is worth reminding that the practice of treasure hunting, or illegal excavation of archaeological sites, is unfortunately prevalent in Morocco. Despite the country’s strict laws regulating the protection and preservation of its cultural heritage, treasure hunters often target Mosoleums and historic sites in search of valuable artifacts or hidden treasures, which they can sell on the black market for profit.

This illegal activity not only results in the loss of valuable historical and cultural artifacts but also damages the country’s heritage sites and undermines efforts to promote tourism and economic development in the region.

The Moroccan Times.