The leader of a nation-wide drug network, Ibrahim Shafaz, was sentenced to 18 years in prison, Sun Online reports.
The sentence was handed down to Shafaz and five associates on Tuesday. Shafaz must also pay a fine of MVF 75 000 (US$4860) within one month.
Three accomplices, Ismail Shaheem, Mohamed Meead and Anas Anees, received ten years.
Two men affiliated with the network – Hussain Athif and Abdul Sattar Ali – were also convicted and sentenced to 18 years and MVR 75,000 (US$4860) in fines.
Shafaz was arrested in 2011 as part of the two-year long “Operation Challenge,” combating the drug network.
800 grams of heroin were seized by police from Shafaz’s apartment, and opiates were confiscated from an apartment rented by an affiliate of the network.
The conviction came on the strength of recorded phone calls and financial transactions with a contact in Colombo, believed to be the supplier.
The network had been operating since 2006.