Police have arrested four suspects in connection with the fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old man in the capital Malé.
Police said the four suspects – one aged 22 and three aged 19-years-old – were taken into custody with arrest warrants during an operation conducted over the course of several days.
On Friday (August 9), the Criminal Court extended the remand detention of the four suspects to 10 days, police said.
Mohamed Mazin, 18, from Dhiggaamaage in Noonu Miladhoo, was stabbed around 9:50am near the Henveiru Park area on Saturday, August 2, and died while undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
Police said at the time that Mazin had three stab wounds in his back. He was assaulted along with Ali Arif, 18, from Henveiru Shaiban – where Mazin was also residing – who was stabbed in the ribcage.
“Maldivian police have undertaken additional efforts to ensure security and ease the anxiety and fear among citizens caused by six violent assaults in Malé committed with sharp objects in recent days,” police said in a statement yesterday.
As part of “special efforts” to combat gang violence, police have been confiscating weapons from public spaces in the capital and decided last week to dismantle huts used exclusively by gangs.
Police intelligence suggests that the spate of violent assaults in Malé since the beginning of Eid Holidays on July 28 were gang reprisals “caused by a disturbance between two groups,” Chief Inspector Abdulla Satheeh told the press last week.
However, Mazin’s family told newspaper Haveeru last week that the deceased had no connection to gangs and did not have a criminal record.
After working with a construction group in Haa Alif Dhonakulhi resort, Mazin came to Malé during Eid holidays in order to travel back to Miladhoo, family members explained.
He was unable to return, however, as there was no boat traveling to the island, Mazin’s cousin told the newspaper, adding that he had been in the capital for about five days before the assault.
The few days Mazin spent in Malé was the longest period he had spent in the capital, he added.
Another family member explained that Mazin had gone to Henveiru park with his cousin while some eyewitnesses said he was stabbed while attempting to defend Arif.
According to the family, Mazin had seven deep stab wounds, including one to the head, and had died without regaining consciousness.
Meanwhile, police arrested three young men in Malé on Friday night (August 8 ) during a gang fight in the Maafanu ward.
The three suspects – aged 19, 20, and 22 – were “arrested from the crime scene,” police said.
One of the suspects was reportedly treated at IGMH for injuries and taken into police custody. All three were arrested with weapons in their possession.
Police also confiscated two motorbikes used by the youth.
Police statistics meanwhile reveal 95 incidents of assault reported in July alone, bringing the total number of assault cases to 697 this year. Approximately 1,500 cases of assault are reported annually in the Maldives, of which a majority occurs in Malé.