Police return MVR 6 million confiscated from accused drug lord

Police have returned MVR 6 million (US$461,500) confiscated from suspected drug lord, Adam Naseem of H. Reendhooge, according to local media.

Naseem was accused by the Nasheed government in 2009 of being one of the country’s top six drug lords. He was arrested in mid-2009 and the police investigation lasted nearly a year.

Police searched Naseer’s home in Addu Atoll on June 30, 2009, where they found over MVR 6 million (US$461,500) in cash and a tin containing drugs outside his house.

However, the Criminal Court acquitted Naseer on the grounds that the state had not been able to convince the court that the money found inside his house was earned through drug trafficking, or that the tin belonged to him.

The state appealed the case at the High Court, which upheld the lower court’s not guilty verdict.

In May 2010, Naseem sued police seeking the return of the money.

Naseem reportedly told local newspaper Haveeru that police had not yet returned the registration of his motorbike and car, or cheques he claimed were worth a further MVR 6 million.

In June 2011, a report compiled by the presidential commission following an inquiry into Naseer’s controversial acquittal was leaked online.

The findings of the report suggested that shortcomings in the police investigation and weak evidence were responsible for the failure to convict one of the “top six drug lords” identified by police.