Morocco foiled an attempt to smuggle 3 tons of cannabis in the Mediterranean town of Stihate, according to local newspaper Akhbar Alyaoum on Saturday.

The banned substance, planned to be smuggled by sea to Spain, was concealed in many packages inside a car, the report said, adding that two people managed to escape.

The smuggling operation was aborted on Friday by the Moroccan Gendarmerie, and many materials were seized, including a boat possibly used to transport the drugs to Spain, the report said.

It added that drug smugglers have regained their activities in the area, taking advantage of the state of health emergency in Morocco due to the spread of COVID-19.

Despite efforts to crack down on cannabis cultivation during the past decade, Morocco remains one of the world’s largest producers of the narcotic plant, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Moroccan security services have seized a total of 179,657 kg of cannabis in 2019, according to official statistics.