Large-Scale Waste “Smuggling” to Morocco Questioning Government’s Policies

Large-Scale Waste “Smuggling” to Morocco Questioning Government’s Policies

Image for illustration purposes only. This is an old image of garbage that arrived from Taverna del Re (located in the vicinity of Napoli) to the Jourf Lasfar port in El Jadida.

Reports of substantial quantities of Spanish waste being “illegally smuggled” into Morocco have raised serious concerns over the country’s environmental policies, leading to direct questioning of the Akhannouch government by the “Progress and Socialism” party amid a plenary session in the Moroccan parliament on Monday.

The party revealed that both national and international media have reported Spanish authorities investigating individuals allegedly involved in smuggling thousands of tons of plastic waste into Morocco.

The Progress and Socialism party’s parliamentary group has formally asked Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, to disclose the measures taken by the ministry to counteract these illegal practices.

“If our country has made significant strides in recent years in enacting legislative and regulatory measures to protect the environment, monitor and deter environmental crimes, including storage and illegal and unlicensed trafficking in waste of all kinds and types, some related practices go beyond being simple ecological violations, and sometimes take the form of organized crime,” the PPS group stressed.

The alleged smuggling operation involves using falsified waste transfer documents, with Spanish prosecutors currently investigating several suspects tied to the import-export industry.

The current situation echoes a previous incident a few years ago involving Hakima Haite, the then Minister of Environment. Haite faced significant criticism when it was discovered that Italian waste was being exported to Morocco, creating a massive media uproar and a wave of criticism. The incident even led the Minister to file a judicial complaint against one of Morocco’s most vocal voices on the issue back then,  Mayssa Salama Ennaji.