Concerns for family welfare for Bournemouth man detained in Morocco

The family of a British man arrested in Morocco said they were concerned for his well-being after he was left without medication for five weeks.

Oliver Andrews visited Marrakech in November and was arrested after being accused of using counterfeit money.

The 29-year-old’s family said they denied the allegations and had received no help from British authorities.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it had provided assistance.

The BBC has asked the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco for comment.

On 10 November 2022, Mr Andrews, from Bournemouth, and a friend went to a nightclub on the last night of their holiday.

‘Under pressure’

The next morning, Moroccan police arrested them and Mr Andrews was told half of his money was counterfeit, according to his family.

The family said the two men were not given an official translator or the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

They also said the men were “pressed to sign foreign documents”.

Speaking through the family, Mr Andrew’s lawyer in Morocco said both men were charged with possession and distribution of counterfeit money inside Morocco and with setting up an organized crime group.

Mr Andrews was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2021 and requires daily care, his family said.

They added that he was not given access to his medication until his lawyer arranged access on Dec. 16.

“The British Embassy in Morocco and the FCDO have refused to get involved,” they continued.

They said the British Embassy in Morocco and the FCDO have been notified of Mr Andrew’s heart condition and medical needs.

When Mr Andrews was seen by his solicitor, the family said he “was in a very deteriorated mental and physical state”.

They added that because she hadn’t been taking her meds, “her blood circulation was slowing down.”

The family also said they had sent money to the embassy for Mr Andrews to make phone calls but added that “this money has not been given to him, until today”.

Alanna Cornick, Mr Andrew’s partner, said: “We just want the embassy to do their job and visit him, and make sure they monitor his well-being.”

“The condition she lives in is heartbreaking every day,” she added.

‘To disappoint’

He described how he was held in “cramped spaces” with 32 people in a 12-person cell, with no bedding or fresh air.

“I got phone calls from him where he was really really down and basically sharing suicidal thoughts,” she continued.

“It’s the worst because there’s nothing you can do.”

Zoe, Mr Andrew’s mother, said the family ‘have given up trying to get anything through the embassy’.

“As a family, we feel very let down and abandoned by our own government,” he added.

“We, under no circumstances, want help with the legal case, just her well-being.”

An FCDO spokesman disputed the family’s claims and told the BBC: “We are providing consular assistance to two British nationals arrested in Morocco and are in contact with local authorities.”

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