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Many Jews Leave Morocco After More Arrest Warrants Issued

The Moroccan Ministry of Justice announced this morning that the three Jewish businessmen arrested this week on charges of corruption and misuse of public funds will be charged by a special court in Rabat. The three include the secretary of the Jewish Community Council, David Amar. The identity of the two other men has not been officially released but Jewish circles here believe that one of the two men might be Henri Ohana, the brother of Moroccan oil executive, Paul Ohana, who may be in Israel. He is being sought for alleged oil-price rigging.

All of these arrests seam to be based on actual criminal charges and, according to Jewish circles here, seem to have no anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish motives. Morocco’s Jews seem, nevertheless, highly upset by these arrests and by unconfirmed reports that a large number of arrest warrants have been issued by the Moroccan Ministry of Justice against Jews currently abroad.

Moroccan Jewish sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that these warrants seem to have been issued during the last few days. Most of the people sought are reportedly still abroad. The latest arrests and the reports of more arrest warrants are prompting many Moroccan Jews to leave the country. Although no details have been officially released, Jewish circles here say “several dozen families” a day are leaving. All planes arriving in Paris from Morocco carry a large number of Moroccan Jews, usually members of well-to-do families, who appear to fear being charged under the current “anti-corruption” government drive.

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