File picture: Supplied

Johannesburg – Thirteen people have been arrested following a three-city operation against drug smugglers by the Moroccan authorities who say they have seized 2.5 tonnes of raw cocaine in one of Morocco’s biggest drug busts, AP reported Thursday.

Morocco’s Central Bureau for Judicial Investigation announced Wednesday that the drugs were seized in the Atlantic coastal towns of Skhirat and Bouznika and the Mediterranean town of Nador.

Cars, rifles and $480,000 in cash were also seized by the police. Those arrested include people with joint Moroccan-Dutch and Moroccan-Spanish citizenship.

Two people considered the brains of the network are also in custody from a previous arrest.

The cocaine was reported to have originated from Mexico and Venezuela and had been arriving in the North African country in batches since 2013, destined for sale there and elsewhere.

Cocaine trafficked to Europe is often sent from Morocco.