First Published: 2010-12-21


Key members of Sahara drug ring captured are from Polisario


Drug traffickers arrested in Mauritania, Mali following action of Sahara states to stop drug smuggling to Europe.


Middle East Online

'Already transported many tons of drugs'

BAMAKO - Suspected drug traffickers arrested in Mali and Mauritania this month are key members of one of the Sahara's largest drug networks, security sources said Monday.

"On Sunday we arrested another person at the border between Mali and Algeria," said a Malian official involved in the fight against drug trafficking.

"At this stage of the investigation, we can say that with Mauritania we have captured the main members of one of the biggest drug trafficking networks in the Sahara."

A Niger security source in Bamako also described the ring as "one of the major drug trafficking networks" in the Sahara region.

He added that it was known as "Polisario" because 90 percent of its members come from camps of the Polisario Front, which is fighting for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco.

On December 7, the Mauritanian army said it had killed two men and captured seven during a raid on a band of drug traffickers on the eastern Mauritanian border with Mali.

Two days later Malian security forces arrested six "major" drug dealers in the Sahara desert.

"It is a network which, according to our estimates, has already transported many tons of drugs across the Sahara towards Europe," said a Malian security source.

At least seven people in the network are being held in Mauritania and two others in Mali.

The alleged leader of the group, a Sarahwi called Sultani Ould Ahmadou Ould Baddi, was hit by a bullet in the abdomen during his arrest in Mauritania, the source added.


At least 13 killed in Yemen wedding bombing

Israel-Palestinian unrest at risk of turning into religious war

Israeli PM bars ministers from Al-Aqsa compound

US has not yet made decision on Syria no-fly zone

Russian volunteers fighting for Assad regime

Three more stabbing attacks as Palestine-Israel violence continues

Violence in Jerusalem continues

Turkey gives EU's migrant plan offer lukewarm reception

Erdogan uses nuclear, gas deals to pressure Russia over Syria

HRW urges statement from West over imprisoned Bahrain dissidents

EU aim to have migrant 'hotspots' ready by end of November ‘unrealistic’

After nuclear deal, Iran takes central role to end Syria war

Escape or temporary move: Erdogan son settles in Italy

ISIS attack complicates task for Arab coalition in Yemen

Syria army launches broad ground operation in Hama province

Number of confirmed cholera cases rises to 1,200 in Iraq

Russia ‘ready’ to establish contacts with Free Syrian Army

Turkey arrests six people over 'minting coins for ISIS’

US insists no military cooperation with Russia in Syria conflict

Russia warships fire cruise missiles to back Syria army operation

New violence rocks Israel, West Bank

Mortar attack wounds Lebanon soldiers near border with Syria

Iraq forces recapture several areas around Ramadi

Saleh’s party ‘ready’ for UN-brokered Yemen peace

Erdogan’s vision of Syria’s future torn up by Putin

IS bombings will not deter Yemen govt from staying in Aden

EU to ease Turkey migrant burden on conditions

EU kicks off military operation against ‘mafia of the sea’

Russia air strikes targeting Chechen jihadists in Syria

Russia examining US proposals to coordinate Syria strikes

Russia hints at willingness on Syria 'deconfliction' with US

France may strip five terrorists of nationality

Israel demolition policy: Collective punishment in violation of international law

Violence in Yemen may trigger world's next great refugee crisis

EU to 'step up' work on resettlement of refugees from Turkey

Tunisia dismantles three ISIS recruitment cells

Russia not cooperating with US in Syria safety talks

Halal economy set to grow worldwide

‘Islamic State’ claims series of deadly attacks in Yemen

Recent unrest leaves Netanyahu with tough political choices

NATO accuses Russia of violating Turkey airspace

Unpaid teachers in Iraq Kurdistan go on strike to end ‘farce’

Erdogan warns Russia not to destroy friendship with Turkey

Arab coalition troops among 15 killed in Yemen attacks

Russia has created ‘de facto no-fly zone’ for Assad