Police arrest 9 individuals on drug possession charges in 48 hours

Police have detained nine individuals on suspicion of possessing illegal narcotics within the past 48 hours.

Three men were arrested on Monday (January 12) – two in Hulhumalé and one in Dhaalu Meedhoo, a further two men were taken in on Tuesday in Kudahuvadhoo and Villimalé, while four more were apprehended in Malé and Haa Alif Hoarafushi – two from each island.

All but one of the men, a Bangladeshi, were Maldivian and two – one from Hulhumalé and one from Hoarafushi – were minors.

A total of 74 packets thought to contain illegal substances were confiscated during the police’s investigations.

Last year saw the number of drug-related crimes reported to police fall by 20 percent, while home minister Umar Naseer has pledged to prioritise the fight against drug dealers, who he has noted have attempted to infiltrate police ranks.

After visiting the Netherlands in June to finalise arrangements for a dog squad to assist in the police’s anti-drug operations, the dogs are expected to be used in operations in the Maldives after having been trained in Sri Lanka.

Home affairs officials told media yesterday the kennels for the Faara Gema team of 16 dogs – based on the airport island of Hulhulé – were due to be finished next month.