Local Moroccans and visitors alike are reporting a cynical fund raising scam by Sefrou authorities. Visitors' cars, parked legally, are being towed away and police are demanding as much as 400 dirhams to release them
The View from Fez, in Sefrou to report and promote the Cherry Festival, was also caught in the scam. After parking in their usual spot where there were no signs indicating that parking was forbidden, they returned to find their car gone. There was no apology from the police who instead demanded a fine.
According to several reports, a mobile "no parking" sign is placed beside a car, then a police photo is taken "proving" the infringement. Complaints to the local police about the behaviour were ignored.
When asking why there were no police informing people not to park, a police spokesperson from the Sefrou Commissariat replied "He was probably on his lunch break or at the toilet".
Local people are happy to welcome visitors to Sefrou, but say they are unhappy that the parking scam is souring the experience and reflecting badly on their beautiful, normally friendly town.
The Cherry Festival continues tomorrow and is worth a visit but the parking scam is a bad move by the local authorities, who should be assisting visitors to park, not using them as revenue raising.