‘Sex doll invasion’ triggers raid on Chinese stalls in Morocco - but rumour may have been over-inflated

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 8:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 9:28pm

Police raided the Chinese section of a market in Morocco after rumours spread on social media that stores there were selling inflatable sex dolls, which are banned in the conservative Muslim country.

Social media users had spread a rumour that the dolls were on sale in Derb Omar, an immense wholesale market in Casablanca.

On Thursday, two local newspapers ran full-page stories on the rumours.

“Sex dolls invade the markets,” was the headline in the Arabic-language daily Asabah.

It noted that “many doubt the truth of the rumours”.

But according to local media, security forces were taking no chances. The police, including plain-clothes officers, raided the Chinese area of the market, Asabah reported.

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No sex dolls were to be found.

“The only dolls the police were able to find were the mannequins used in clothes shop windows,” it said.

Abderrazak Lazrak, head of the Derb Omar trader’s association, “formally denied the rumour” in comments to Kifache TV, saying the dolls should not be confused with ordinary mannequins.

The interior ministry declined to comment.

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While some Moroccans expressed indignation at the rumours, others were amused.

Some women took to Facebook to demand male versions of the dolls.

Sex dolls are de facto illegal in Morocco, where the law punishes “anyone who produces, diffuses, publishes, imports, exports, exposes, sells or possesses” pornographic material.

In 2012, a man caught selling similar products in Casablanca was sentenced to eight months in prison.