Moroccan Monarch mistaken for 'smuggler'

King Mohamed VI, right, told officers 'do you not know who I am?' Credit: Reuters

A detachment of Spanish state police officers caused an international incident earlier this month when the mistook the King of Morocco for a potential drug smuggler and attempted to intercept and board his speed boat.

Morroco's King Mohamed VI was enjoying a summer break off the shores of Spain's African enclave of Ceuta when Spanish Guardia Civil noticed his two luxury speed boats and three jet skis.

These vessels which are frequently used by human traffickers and drug-runners to ferry their illegal contraband from Africa to Spain, causing the Spanish coastal force to leap into action. Officers came alongside the boats and ordered the occupants to identify themselves.

According to Spain's English-language news outlet, The Local, the Monarch shouted out "Do you not know who I am?"

No more questions were asked by the men but King Mohammed was quick to call his Spanish counterpart to complain.

The Local reports also that Spain's King Felipe, who according to the country’s Royal House “has a very good relationship with Mohammed VI”, then contacted Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz to come up with a suitable apology.

Fernández ordered his government delegate in Ceuta to send three high-command Civil Guards to head out to the royal speed boat as quickly as possible.

They apologised profusely to the Moroccan monarch, who shook their hands and stated the officers “had done their job perfectly” but that he “hadn't been respected”.