Police charge six Maldivians, six Indians with smuggling drugs

Police have forwarded the names of six Maldivian and six Indian nationals to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) in connection to the smuggling of nine kilograms of illegal drugs into the country in November 2012 on a cargo boat named Ms Silver Cloud.

In a statement issued today, the police identified the six Maldivians as Ali Imran, 45, of Mahchangolhi Coconut House; Ibrahim Shihab, 25, of Villingili; Ilyas Ahmed, 29, of Henveiru Kahafathi; Hassan Shimaz, 28, of Mahchangolhi Canovo House; Mohamed Hameed, 27, of Rathafandhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll; and Ahmed Visam, 28, of Maafannu Boiling House.

The Indian nationals were identified as Sahubarali Abubaidha, 54; S.Mariya Anthony Christo, 27; Anthony Selvoraj, 58; D.Silva Paruthipan, 28; A. Kingston, 29; and M. Anantha Kurmar, 23.

The police stated that these men were apprehended on 27 November 2012 in a joint special operation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) and the Customs Service.

According to the statement, they were alleged to have been caught in the act of throwing the drugs onto Boduthakurufaanu Magu over the Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) wall, with Maldivian men waiting on Boduthakurufaanu Magu to receive it.
Police said some of them were already leaving the area after receiving the drugs when police arrested them.

Those found on the boat were searched under a warrant, and police discovered 9kg of illegal drugs which tested positive to cannabis and diamorphin.

Police said that all the Maldivians arrested in connection with the case had previous records of theft and drugs recorded at police.

‘Silver Cloud 49’, is a vessel used to carry goods from India to the Maldives. In November last year it came to the Maldives to unload eggs, potatoes, and onions that were to be brought to the Maldives from Tuticorin port in India.
On November 28, 2012, police told the media that one of the six suspects was arrested on allegations that he was the ringleader responsible for trafficking illegal drugs into the Maldives.

Police said the man was arrested while he was inside a room at Kunnumalaage in Maafannu ward.

When police officers searched Kunnumalaage they discovered more than MVR1million, US$11,318, and EUR 39,725, as well as currencies of 11 other nations, police said.

Police at the time searched other houses in connection with the case including coconut House in Mahchangolhi Ward and Moonlight View in Galolhu Ward.

According to police, officers discovered a further MVR134,050, US$2,200, and tools used to pack drugs in Coconut House.

The police also released the video footage of the operation.

Deputy Police Commissioner Hussain Waheed at the time tweeted that the street value of the drugs discovered during the operation would reach over MVR 10million (US$648,000).