Rabat: The Moroccan police have arrested eight sub-Saharan nationals in the eastern city of Oujda for their links with a criminal network involved in human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and kidnapping.

Security services had received two complaints, the first by a Gambian residing in Morocco, who claimed to have received a telephone call from one of his fellow citizens asking him for a sum of money in European currency so that he can hand it to the individuals who kidnapped him for his release.

The police said the second complaint was lodged by another Gambian citizen who said he was kidnapped and released after paying a ransom.

After investigations, police conducted a raid on a "detention facility", a two-storey house located in a residential area. They arrested eight suspects of Ivorian, Senegalese and Malian nationalities. According to an official, 16 sub-Saharans were also detained in the house.

A judicial inquiry was opened under the supervision of the public prosecutor's office.

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