Former Morrocan finance minister Simo Youseff was arrested today in the capital city of Rabat and charged with five counts of conspiracy to price fixing for his role in an alleged plot to set a price floor in the booming global hair oils futures market. Mr. Youseff was only recently appointed to a new role as argan oil minister after stepping down as finance minister, a post he had held for six years.
Morroco is widely known in the rest of the world for its production, shipping and sale of argan oil. Argan oil is a plant oil made from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) that is endemic to Morocco. The oil is used in Morocco for dipping breads or adding flavor to pasta but in the rest of the world it is mostly recognized for its heavy use in a wide variety of cosmetic beauty items, in particular shampoos and conditioners. In his role as finance minister Mr. Youseff once gave an interview in which he bristled at the notion that Morroco’s only resource of any significant value was argan oil saying “Morocco is an amazing, diverse, and beautiful land that exports a tremendous variety of agricultural and other products to places across the world. However, despite the fact that Morocco’s number one export is actually electric wire, everywhere I go all anyone wants to ask me about is if I can get them a good deal on Moroccanoil® Moisture Repair Shampoo. While I agree that Morrocan argan oil based shampoos are unsurpassed in their ability to repair damaged hair caused by color, chemical processing or heat styling, I am not sure that fact is more interesting or important than the fact that our current number two export is non metals, inorganic acids, & oxygen compounds.” He added “although Moroccan argan oil based shampoos have been demonstrated to gently and effectively clean and revive hair, and to leave hair nourished, manageable and strong, Morocco has a lot more going for it than an overhyped and overpriced line of Shampoos bearing the countries name. In fact even though Moroccon argan oil is naturally infused with antioxidants and reconstructive keratins and fatty acids which mend broken strands and dead ends to restore elasticity, moisture and shine, Morocco also has a very beautiful climate reminiscent of Southern California.”
Despite his words he was a heavy investor in the hair oils futures market (KERIdax) and is purported to have netted close to ten million dollars in profits on speculatory market bets in the two years since he took the oil minister role. The obvious conflict of interest had raised eyebrows, and ethics watchdogs were aghast, but none suspected criminal activity until last Friday when police from Interpol burst into his palatial home just outside the capital and placed him under arrest. He is said to have surrendered peacefully and was seen leaving his home in handcuffs under heavy police protection only minutes later.
Later that same evening in an interview outside police headquartes Morrocan police commander Mehdi Amini had this to say “Mr. Youseff has been charged with five counts of conspiracy to price fixing. Interpol has in their possession recordings of cellular telephone conversations, and copies of emails which clearly implicate him in this conspiracy among major players in the hair oils market. Executives and government officials from countries heavily dependent on profits from Coconut, Macademia, Kalahari Melon Seed, Almond, and Baobab oil have also been arrested and charged. Though these other hair oils are popular and widely sold as additives in various hair care products, none can provide your hair with the luster and shine of Moroccan argan oil. Certainly none can do so with virtually zero greasy residue. Even though this conspiracy has given Moroccan argan oil a black eye it will always remain the premiere hair oil, and the one against which all other oils for hair care products are judged. Also, it’s great for skin and nails. I will take no questions at this time.” Immediately following his statement the commander turned quickly and strode back into police HQ head bowed, his lustrous, shiny, and smooth black hair flowing behind him like a horse’s mane, only not all frizzy and gross like a horses.
Authors note: If you love Moroccan argan oil as much as I do (and who doesn’t), then you will surely love the other articles in my award winning series of factuhumor pieces featuring argan oil. To The Onion my sincere apologies and please do not sue me. Links below.