Police have today said they have started a special operation to seize all dangerous animals that are illegally imported to the country.
In a statement the police said they had commenced a joint special operation with the relevant government institutions after having noticed that sightings of such animals on streets and other places had become common in the Maldives.
Police said that aim of the special operation was to seize all these animals and take them under police charge before a regrettable incident occurs.
Furthermore, the police stated that the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Fisheries Ministry, customs and the Maldives National Defence Force were all involved in the operation.
Police have also appealed to the public to inform police if they have any information by contacting the police hotline – 332 2111, the police emergency hotline – 119, or police Criminal Investigation Department – 963 1696.
On 16 March Police Commissioner Hussain Waheed met with Commissioner General of Customs Ahmed Mohamed and a delegation of senior customs official to discuss the increase in illegal animals being discovered during recent drug operations.
A police statement at the time reported that Waheed had told officials that citizens were now in constant fear, noting that the police did not have any role in the airports and other ports.
He also said that police now needed to conduct as many operations to confiscate illegal and dangerous animals as to curb drug related crimes.
Earlier in March, police discovered a royal python – a nonvenomous snake commonly kept as a pet – following a drugs raid in Himmafushi, Kaafu atoll, on March 4.
In a separate raid on March 7 police also confiscated a Kingsnake and a Mexican red-kneed tarantula from a house in Malé.
A slow loris was also discovered by police in a drugs raid in Malé in Januray 21. It has been revealed this week that the ministry is considering destroying the animal after attempts to find a suitable home had failed.