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Egyptian security forces foil plot to smuggle 1,134 tonnes of cannabis: report

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Tip-off allows security authorities to take action

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Egypt’s Interior Ministry is reporting security forces intercepted a smuggling bid to bring 1,134 tonnes of illegal cannabis into Suez.

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The authorities received a tip, prompting members of the Suez Security Directorate to carry out the raid, which ended with the forces confiscating the massive amount of cannabis, notes information posted on the State Information Service.

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Egypt is no stranger to cannabis seizures, although not as large as the most recent takedown. CANNA Connection reports that both recreational and medicinal marijuana, as well as hash, remain illegal in the country and have been since 1925.

This past September, Egypt Today reported the Interior Ministry announced that an unidentified number of accused had been spotted and arrested in their homes in possession of huge amounts of cannabis, namely 87 kilograms, as well as other drugs, including heroin.

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A few months earlier in June, Times of Israel detailed a raid in which Israeli security forces scuttled a bid to smuggle almost a million dollars worth of weed into the country from Egypt, with several suspects being detained and three packages of bud being found.

Considerably large was the 300 kg of marijuana found during another smuggling attempt from Egypt to Israel in the late winter of that year.

Still larger than that, though, was the discovery of a tonne of cannabis in the governorates of Cairo and Ismailia late last spring, notes Egypt Independent.

If caught with cannabis, according to Sensi Seeds, a person could face a minimum of one year in prison, plus a fine. “While the laws may seem tough, they’re not strictly enforced. As such, cannabis consumption is relatively commonplace across the country,” the information notes.

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“As smoking hash is widely socially tolerated, underground hash cafés are flourishing,” according to CANNA Connection, claiming that “most have ‘understandings’ with local police to avoid intrusion.”

The country also sees its fair share of cannabis-related seizures. A report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, released in June of 2022, points out that Morocco seized the second-largest quantity of herbs in Africa in 2020, estimated at more than 250 tonnes, about half of the roughly 500 tonnes confiscated in Egypt, per Morocco World News.

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