Morocco to Create Sharia Board and Open Financing to Participatory Banks

Tunis- Morocco’s King Mohammed VI issued a Royal decree on February 17 directing the establishment of a sharia board for Islamic finance. The objective of this decree is to oversee the Moroccan Islamic finance system, according to the country’s official bulletin, in a step that could help the market attract Gulf investors. This perspective is based on a participatory approach.Islamic banks from Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates have expressed interest in entering the Moroccan market once the bill becomes  law.The financial system is based on Islamic scholars’ interpretation of Islam that bans interest payements.  In Morocco, the system is called the Sharia Committee for Participatory Finance  and is composed of ten Islamic scholars and at least five financial experts, according to the official release. The members will be chosen by the president of the Supreme Ulema Council in Morocco. For the Moroccan Sharia Board, the word “Islamic” (in reference to banks) will be changed to “participatory” in the legislation, to encourage Moroccans to contribute to its development and enable private firms to issue Islamic debt independently from the question of religion.The Parliament approved the Islamic finance bill last November, which was the first step to establishing Islamic finance banks.Moroccans are in favor of this system. A study conducted in June 2012 by the Islamic Finance Advisory and Assurance Services (IFAAS) revealed that 94% of Moroccans are in favor of the practice of Islamic finance in the country.Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

Spanish Civil Guard Dismantles Protected Animals Trafficking Network to Morocco

Rabat – The Spanish Civil Guard has dismantled the international network engaged in trafficking protected species to Morocco.‘Operation Fennec’ supervised by Europol, is the fruit of a coordinated investigation with the participation of Portugal, Slovakia, and Morocco. It has so far enabled the arrest of 10 alleged members of the criminal organization. The Spanish Civil Guard also seized around 200 animals, including birds, mammals, and reptiles that were destined to be smuggled to Morocco, according to Spanish media.  The investigation was initiated after a complaint from a citizen to the NGO SEO / BirdLife which reported the information to the Civil Guard.The clandestine smuggling network had contacts in many European countries that provided them with protected specimens to illegally export them to Morocco. After investigating the suspects, Spanish authorities found out that smuggled animals were stored in an animals shop in Fuengirola and in Ronda, both situated in the province of Malaga.Spanish media reported on the existence of an emerging market in Africa dedicated to selling illegal animals.Read also: Morocco’s Royal Navy Aborts Drug Trafficking Attempt of 4 Tons of CannabisRun by four people, one of the members of the network had judicial records in species trafficking and was responsible for acquiring animals from across Europe.To secure a pass at police controls, the network had a veterinarian who issued the corresponding health cards for exotic animals.Among the arrested individuals is a Moroccan national residing in the Spanish city of Melilla. The person is believed to have been responsible for animal distribution in Morocco and finding potential buyers via social media.To facilitate the border-crossing to Morocco, the network used mules between Melilla and Nador.No further details have been provided by authorities on the date of the trials. read more