The Maldives Police Service (MPS) and the Criminal Court have blamed each other for the release yesterday (October 3) of two suspects arrested on charges of drug trafficking.
The two suspects were taken into custody on Thursday (October 2) after about 1kg of drugs were found in their possession. The pair were reportedly arrested after they loaded a vegetable box containing the drugs into a car upon arriving in Malé from the airport.
According to local media, the suspects were released because they could not be brought before a judge for extension of remand detention 24 hours after the arrest.
The justice building was closed when police took the suspects to the Criminal Court on Friday and the 24-hour period elapsed at 1:30pm.
Under Article 48 of the Constitution, judges must determine the validity of detention with 24 hours of an arrest and decide whether or not to authorise pre-trial detention.
An official from the Criminal Court’s told local media that police were informed in writing that the court would open at 2:00pm on Friday.
If police were aware that 24 hours would elapse before then, the official said police should have brought the suspects to the court on Thursday.
Aside from confirming the release of the suspects, police have declined to comment on the incident.