Police have revealed that dangerous weapons were found at the house of former defence minister Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim on Sunday morning (January 18).
“We found dangerous weapons at his house,” said Spokesman for Commissioner of Police Ahmed Shifan at a press conference held this afternoon. “Nazim and some of his family members were questioned regarding the weapons but they failed to adequately respond to the questions.”
Following President Abdulla Yameen’s decision to remove him from the cabinet, Nazim said the raid showed that no Maldivian could be considered safe or secure based on recent events.
“This gives an alarming signal that entering any house, at any time and to do anything is possible. The defence minister is the most senior official standing beside the president,” he said during a press conference held at the studios of DhiTV.
Nazim went on to say that he intended to cooperate fully with police and had already provided statements, fingerprints, and DNA samples.
Superintendent Shifan told the media that the police had obtained a warrant from the Criminal Court after receiving reports that dangerous weapons were being kept in a Malé home.
“A police tactical team was sent to the house at around 3.15am on January 18, whereupon they went up to the eighth floor and searched 2 apartments.”
Media speculation as to the specific weapons found in the apartment have varied considerably, with no such details revealed by police officials today.
Shifan once again assured the press that officers had been unaware that the apartment belonged to the defence minister until they had forcefully entered the property, adding that best practices were maintained throughout the search.
“The team did not know Nazim was present at or living at that apartment until after they arrived on the scene,” said Shifan.
“We would like to reiterate the fact that the police would not hesitate to search any house under a court warrant in order to ensure the safety of the general public.”
Former President Mohamed Nasheed has earlier this week suggested that the raid had been conducted to retrieve documents which might incriminate tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb, though Adeeb had rejected these claims.
Commenting on Nazim’s dismissal via twitter today, Adeeb said it was a “sad day” when former colleagues “changed their direction”.
Today is a sad day for me personally, it is a lot of pain when colleagues & comrades who worked together, changed their direction.. 🙁
— Ahmed Adeeb (@Ahmed_Adeeb) January 20, 2015
Nazim also suggested this afternoon that such a raid could not have happened without the president’s knowledge, although President’s Office Spokesman Ibrahim Muaz told Minivan News earlier that presidential approval was not required to investigate a cabinet minister.
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