May 13, 2023

Moroccan Court Issues Strong Verdict against Man Used Crypto

Crypto in Morocco

Crypto in Morocco

A Moroccan court issued a harsh verdict against a French citizen over charges of buying a luxurious car with Bitcoin, according to Euronews.

The Casablanca Court of Appeal issued a verdict of 18 months in prison and a $3.7 million fine against Thomas Clausi, 21, over charges of fraud and illegal use of cryptocurrency which is considered banned in the Arab country.

Mohamed Aghanaj, Clausi’s lawyer, said the court confirmed the verdict already, adding the Moroccan judicial system shows strong opposition against the use of cryptocurrency in Morocco.

Clausi was arrested in December 2021 after buying a Ferrari. The case started after a woman, who lived in Casablanca, accused him of “fraud” after exchanging the luxury car for a Bitcoin payment of nearly $437,000.

Trading in cryptocurrencies is currently outlawed in Morocco. However, Morocco became the fastest-growing crypto market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2022. Nearly 900,000 individuals — about 2.4% of the population in Morocco — currently possess cryptocurrency, according to the Singaporean cryptocurrency provider and aggregator Triple-A.

Despite the strong verdict, Governor of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) Abdellatif Jouahiri announced his country’s intention to introduction of the first draft law on crypto in collaboration with the Moroccan Capital Markets Authority (AMMC) and the Insurance Supervisory Authority and Social Security (ACAPS), in addition to international financial partners like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“For cryptocurrencies, I can assure you that the project is ready. We worked with the World Bank and the consultant to make it happen. The different chapters are completed. Now we are engaged in the discussion with the different stakeholders. It is long but necessary to allow everyone to adhere to this project,” according to Jouahiri in January.

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