Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Noonu Atoll wing leader Mohamed Abbas has been arrested with possession of a bottle suspected to contain alcohol.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said that three men were arrested for allegedly carrying alcohol in an empty water bottle.
”Two men have been released now,” said Shiyam. “The bottle will be brought to Male’ for the necessary examinations.”
Shiyam declined to reveal the identity of the person under arrest, however he confirmed that Abbas was one of the two persons released.
Alcohol in the Maldives is strictly controlled and restricted to ‘uninhabited’ resort islands. Maldivians, who are constitutionally-obligated to be Muslim, are prohibited from consuming it in accordance with Islamic practices.
Online newspaper based on Noonu Atoll, Velidhoo Online (VO), reported that three bottles of alcohol were discovered inside Abbas’s backpack.
VO reported that the bottles were discovered by police when they were checked following their arrival from the Ranveli Resort of Noonu Atoll.
The paper also said that people had gathered near Velidhoo police station and held demonstrations to express disapproval of Abbas.
Deputy leader of DRP, Umar Naseer, said Abbas was not the leader of DRP’s Noonu Atoll wing.
”He’s just a normal DRP member, an activist,” said Umar. ”I have idea how this happened, but I know he did not drink, because his breath-test results were negative to alcohol.”
Umar said there were no alcoholics in the opposition DRP, and claimed that there were only alcoholics in the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
”Police should investigate the case and take necessary actions against any person who violates the law, without referring to which party he is in or what his post is,” Umar added.
Police recently discovered bottles of alcohol inside the car of MDP parliamentary group leader and MP Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik, however the government claimed the alcohol bust was a setup.