Concerted Effort to Bolster Training in Human Rights for Criminal Justice System’s Personnel in 2023 (DGSN)

   These efforts were undertaken in collaboration with the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Royal Gendarmerie Command, the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) points out in a press release on its results for 2023, adding that these efforts have enhanced the skills of officers from the various judicial police services nationwide, who have adopted modern research techniques and become familiar with best practices in the field of criminal investigations.

   The resultant security measures and institutional collaborations have notably influenced the outcomes of operations against criminal activities, thereby contributing to an augmented sense of security, the press release adds.

   Throughout the current year, the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) has diligently executed the provisions outlined in the crime-fighting strategy for the 2022-2026 period. This comprehensive strategy involved fortifying anti-delinquency structures, advancing forensic science and technical police laboratories, intensifying the utilization of contemporary methodologies in criminal investigations, and integrating a human rights perspective into police functions. This emphasis extended to custody procedures, surveillance within detention centers, and fostering coordination with the General Directorate of National Territory Surveillance in addressing intricate issues.

   This integrated approach yielded significant results, exemplified by a noteworthy 10% reduction in the overall crime landscape, encompassing the number of cases and recorded incidents, which totaled 738,748 cases for the year. Consequently, 723,874 individuals were apprehended and referred to various public prosecutors.

   Indicators of violent crime also experienced declines, with murders and homicides decreasing by 25%, sexual assaults by 4%, car thefts by approximately 19%, qualified thefts by 9%, and violent thefts by 6%, DGSN notes.

   In tandem with the reduction in crime indicators, the repression rate—the rate of resolving committed crimes—persisted at historically high levels for the seventh consecutive year, standing at 95% of the total recorded cases and approximately 92% of violent crimes.

   These achievements were primarily achieved through the advancement of criminal investigation tools, the pivotal role of forensic science and technology, and the prompt reporting of crimes by victims and witnesses. Additionally, stringent measures against false accusations and misinformation disseminated on social networks significantly contributed to mitigating crime indicators associated with “shadow crimes” or unreported offenses and penalizing their perpetrators.

   In the field of drug-related cases, 2023 witnessed heightened collaboration between DGSN and National Territory Surveillance services in criminal intelligence and border control. Coordination at border posts led to the registration and processing of 99,513 cases, resulting in the arrest of 130,212 individuals, including 305 foreigners. Notably, hashish seizures amounted to 81,175 metric tons, reflecting a 17% decrease. Furthermore, 1,922 metric tons of cocaine, 6.88 kg of heroin, and 1,223,774 ecstasy tablets and other psychotropic substances were seized.

   The year 2023 was marked by the implementation of an action plan targeting the production and trafficking of the synthetic drug known as “L’pufa.” This concerted effort involved elements from the Special Force of the General Directorate of National Territory Surveillance, the research and intervention team of the National Police Judicial Brigade, and all decentralized DGSN services. The result was the disruption of the trafficking network, leading to the arrest of 575 individuals involved in this illicit trade and the seizure of 5,175 kg of this synthetic drug.

   Cases related to modern technologies and cyber extortion recorded a 6% increase, with nearly 5,969 cases. The number of international warrants issued rose to 842, compared to 752 in the previous year, resulting in the arrest and referral to justice of 874 individuals.

   In sextortion cases, DGSN services recorded 508 incidents during the year, an 18% increase compared to the previous year. A total of 182 individuals involved in these criminal acts, targeting 515 victims, including 109 foreigners, were arrested.

   Addressing illegal immigration, efforts led to the prevention of 28,863 attempts of irregular immigration, including 18,820 of various foreign nationalities. This involved dismantling 121 criminal networks and the apprehension of 594 organizers and intermediaries.

   In this context, 707 forged travel and identity documents related to these cases were seized, along with 215 boats and 31 vehicles used in organizing immigration operations.

   Regarding financial and economic crimes, the DGSN services continued to enhance criminal investigation techniques. This occurred at the level of the National Police Judicial Brigade and its regional brigades in Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakech.

   These brigades handled 529 cases related to corruption, embezzlement of trust, misappropriation of public funds, and extortion—an increase of nearly 14% compared to the previous year. The number of suspects investigated in these cases reached 693 individuals, including 322 in corruption and trust abuse cases, 259 suspects in embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds cases, and 112 in extortion and abuse of power cases.

   Concerning counterfeiting, fraudulent use of means of payment, and currency trafficking, DGSN services processed 38 cases related to currency trafficking, 57,980 cases of offenses against the legislation governing checks—a decrease of nearly 1.5%—153 cases of fraud and fraud involving means of payment, and 151 cases of counterfeiting currency and foreign exchange.

   This type of cases led to seizing 481 counterfeit national banknotes and 1,489 counterfeit foreign banknotes for a total amount of 95,800 US dollars, 74,820 euros and 340 pounds sterling, in addition to dismantling 19 criminal networks active in counterfeiting currencies, means of payment and credit cards. Some 181 people of different nationalities were brought to justice and 34 pieces of equipment and electronic media used in piracy, counterfeiting and fraudulent payment were seized.

   In the fight against terrorism, extremism and the glorification of terrorist acts, the National Brigade of Judicial Police referred 29 people suspected of involvement in such cases to the competent public prosecutor’s office this year, in addition to the terrorist cells dismantled by the Central Bureau of Criminal Investigation under the General Directorate for National Territorial Surveillance, including the terrorist cell involved in the murder of a police officer in Errahma neighborhood in Casablanca.

   Regarding the scientific and technical police assessment report during 2023, the various branches of the Scientific and Technical Police Laboratory in Casablanca maintained their ISO 17025 quality certification for the sixth year running. This had a positive impact on the quality of scientific expertise carried out, as well as on the increase in the number of criminal cases brought to trial, and contributed to consolidating fair trial mechanisms by relying on scientific evidence in criminal investigations.

   The technical services of the DGSN Institute of Forensic Sciences carried out 714 forensic examinations on forged documents, an increase of 9%, 137 forensic examinations on counterfeit foreign and domestic banknotes and 264 ballistic examinations on 149 firearms and 7,889 munitions and projectiles, a rise of 31% on the previous year, DGSN notes.

   The central service and regional digital trace analysis laboratories recorded a total of 6,249 requests for expertise, which were carried out on 24,266 electronic media, recording an increase of 12% on the previous year, the press release specified, adding that the national forensic and technical police laboratory in Casablanca received 20,129 requests for expertise during the current year, including 16,635 requests for DNA sample analysis, an increase of around 23% on the previous year, and 1,391 requests for expertise in the field of forensic chemistry (+22%). The Department of Drugs and Forensic Poisons carried out the necessary scientific expertise on 2,061 cases relating to drugs and psychotropic substances, an increase of 14%.

   The current year was marked by the continuation of the process of strengthening and intensifying international security cooperation operations with various international partners, including government agencies and organizations in charge of security affairs and law enforcement, a cooperation which focused mainly on operational coordination and technical assistance with friendly and partner countries.

   This fruitful cooperation was crowned by the unanimous approval of choosing the Kingdom of Morocco to host, in 2025, the 93rd session of the General Assembly of the General Criminal Police Organization “Interpol”, which brings together the chiefs and representatives of the security services of 196 member States, in addition to organizing, on December 6-7, 2023, the 47th Conference of Arab Police and Security Chiefs.

   The year was also marked by the consolidation of bilateral and multilateral security cooperation, as the General Directorate for National Security took part in high-level meetings held within the framework of Interpol and the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers and the African Union.

   Bilateral meetings on issues related to strengthening international security were also held, notably with the President of the International Criminal Police Organization, the Director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Director General of the French police and Belgium’s Acting Director General of Security, the Vice-President of the Saudi Arabian Security Service, the Secretary General of the Information System of the Portuguese Republic (SIRP) and the Director General of the Portuguese Intelligence Service (SIS), as well as the President of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Director General of the State Protection and Intelligence Services of the Republic of Austria.

   On the numeric indicators of this cooperation, the International Cooperation Division under the General Directorate for National Security processed 6,473 files and requests for information, an increase of 12% on 2022. Of these, drug-related cases accounted for 13%, followed by the fight against illegal immigration (15%), exchange and transfer of prisoners to serve the remainder of their sentences in their countries of origin (9%), mutual exploitation of databases (6%) and information request notices (26%).

   As for operational cooperation, the National Central Bureau (Interpol Rabat) monitored the execution of 119 international letters rogatory issued by foreign authorities, and disclosed 121 international arrest warrants, which led to the arrest of 92 people subject to international wanted notices issued by Moroccan judicial authorities.

   The same Bureau published 3280 nationwide wanted notices following arrest warrants issued by competent authorities in foreign countries. It also issued 245 search notices issued by police services in Arab countries, while 2006 warrants to terminate international searches and 342 warrants to terminate Arab search notices were issued.

   With regard to the extradition of criminals, a total of 54 individuals were subject to international arrest warrants issued by Moroccan authorities in 2023, compared with 69 people in 2022. Furthermore, a total of 48 foreign nationals were arrested in Morocco after being subject of extradition warrants to the judicial authorities of the countries that requested them.

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