Anti-gang task force a temporary measure until bills passed, say police

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam has said a special operation to curb rising in gang violence is a temporary measure taken by the police that has proven successful since in began in March this year.

”These are just temporary measurements taken by the police and this way we can curb the rise in gang violence for the time being,” said Shiyam.

”But can only take permanent measures when the necessary bills are passed.”

‘The more gang activities increases, the more police would increase their own activity, Shiyam explained. ”Police special operations are controlling the gang violence temporarily.”

Shiyam said that more than 85 people were arrested in three nights.

”We arrested 40 people one night, 15 on the next and 30 the next,” he said, ”and crime rates have decreased. Some of them have been released by the court.”

He said that police destroyed the wall of Galolhu Masodige after being granted a court order.

”During some operations where we think police might be attacked, we use masks to cover our faces,” he said.

”Sometimes police officers get injured trying to control assaults and gang related crimes.”

He said the recent string of multiple stabbings was related to “an ongoing gang war.”

”It’s just one gang attacking the other and it goes on like that,” he said. “It started after one boy was attacked near Galolhu Sinamale.”

Police have recently arrested many people to try and curb raising gang violence in Male’.

When the special operations started, police said it would not be stopped until the city became a peaceful place.

On 20 March, in a highly-publicised operation intended to reduce gang crime in the capital Male’, police arrested 22 men suspected of being key players in gang violence.

Police sub inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the men were arrested in different areas of Male’ and are were “notable gangsters” involved in gang violence.

Police also collected chairs, sofas and weapons from places where gangs lived, to stop gang members congregating, and stored them in the police tow yard.

On March 25th, following the arrest of 26 people in a special operation to try and curb rising gang violence in Malé, Minivan News spoke to three gang members, on condition of anonymity, to try and learn if both the operation was proving effective, and what was contributing to rising gang violence in the first place.

Rising gang crime: a timeline

During last year on December 28, prominent businessman Ahmed Ibrahim Didi, known as ‘Campus’ Didi, was stabbed and robbed of almost US$300,000 in cash by unknown assailants.

On December 30, the manager Mohamed Rashaad Adam and an employee of the Sunfront store on Majeedhee Magu were attacked on their way home.

On January 7, the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) launched a rehabilitation program for recently released inmates who were serving time for minor drug offences. There were 62 former inmates enrolled in this program, with more than 150 still awaiting clearance.

On January 10, a man was attacked and stabbed with a sharp object in the early hours of that morning. According to police, he man was attacked by a gang of six men. A boy under the age of 18 was arrested in connection to the case.

On January 17, police arrested 19 people in connection with the stabbing of Ahmed Ibrahim ‘Campus’ Didi.

On January 20, head of the police drug enforcement unit Mohamed Jinah claimed “it won’t be long” before police arrest the remaining four of the top six drug dealers identified by President Mohamed Nasheed.

“Two of the top six drug dealers have been arrested. We will arrest the remaining four as soon as possible,” he promised.

On January 23, a group of men allegedly gang raped a woman on Fuvahmulah after dragging her to a beach and restraining her husband.

On January 28, six men were injured in a fight between two groups in Gnaviyanni Faumulaku, and one of the injured men died while receiving treatment.

On  February 7, a 15 year old boy and his 35 year old father were attacked and stabbed by gang members in  Hulhumale’.

On February 8, a businessman was attacked and robbed of Rf435,000 (US$33850) and US$7100 on Janavary Magu near Sonee Hardware.

On March 1, President Mohamed Nasheed criticised the judiciary during a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally and said that the government would not back down and will continue to arrest drug dealers.

On March 2, a man driving a pick-up truck was stabbed near Vaadhee Fresh in Maameyo Magu.

On March 3, the country manager of Habib Bank was stabbed and robbed in his home by a gang of four masked men. During the incident he suffered injuries to his nose, forehead and right arm but was not seriously hurt.

On March 8, police arrested three men in connection with the armed robbery of Habib Bank’s country manager.

On March 15, four men forcibly entered DhiTV studios and attacked five senior officials at the station afternoon, shortly after the station aired a report on its 2 o’clock news claiming that Ibrahim Nafiz, ‘Chika’, had been released to house arrest. Three hours after the alleged gang attack on DhiTV, a Haveeru employee was stabbed in the back.

Abdul Razzag Adam, 39, who works at the printing department, was knifed outside the Haveeru office building while he was on his cycle.

On March 25, a well-known flower shop on Sosun Magu, Cactus, was robbed by a group of intruders who threatened staff with knives and box cutters.

A witness to the incident, who spoke with the staff, told Minivan News that three men entered the flower shop and threatened the staff with knives and cutters, and stole Rf35,000 (US$2700)

On March 26, a group of 15 men abducted, drugged and gang raped a 20 year old girl while reportedly filming the incident with a mobile phone.

On March 30 the Maldives Police Service (MPS) claimed some politicians were using gangs to cause unrest, intimidate people and attack opponents.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that “police have learned some politicians have used gang members to create unrest.”

On April 19, police arrested 22 people including four children under the age of 18 in Laamu Gan, after they were attacked during a wave of gang violence.

Police alleged gang members broke the glass windows of a shop in the industrial area of Mathimaradhu, burnt down a hut in Mulurimagu [district] and broke the windows of two houses. When they tried to stop the gang members, police claim they they were attacked and a police vehicle was damaged.

On 3 May, two men on a motorbike stabbed a 16 year old child in front of two police officers on Ameenee Magu near Imadudeen School, before fleeing.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said that the two police officers were investigating a motor vehicle accident when the incident occurred. The boy injured his lungs and arm during the stab.

On 26 May, a taxi driver threatened a 19 year-old girl with a knife inside his car. The girl was forced to give money to the driver while she was traveling to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

On 29 May two men stabbed a 14 year-old boy in eight places, injuring his lungs and liver.


12 thoughts on “Anti-gang task force a temporary measure until bills passed, say police”

  1. Go ahead Police Boys. We are with you. We are fully behind you in this effort even if you have to arm yourselves with swords and guns , we will back you. Wipe out these gangs and get to the bottom of these movements. The financiers are prominent businessmen and politicians. You will know this at a later stage.

  2. YES!! when this bill gets through Majlis..Gangs will be crushed...and hoe same for drug dealers, homosexuals etc

  3. Gangs are not scared of being arrested or going to prison.. This slow process of democracy might have some effect in the short run, but in the long run will never eradicate gang violence simply because democracy supports human rights and human rights gives too much freedom even to the criminal which violates the rights of an innocent. That is how silly this whole system is. Do we just want to decrease the attacks or eliminate it from society? If it is to completely eliminate gang violence, Shariah law and death penalty should be practiced. Hence anyone that has concrete evidence against him in a rape case or knife attack, should be put to death. Why do some secularist get all scared of the death sentence? Their favorite country America practices it also, even though in the state of California anyone that is convicted of even 3 small petty crimes can be considered for death row. What we are only asking is to severely punish the those that are involved in knife attacks and rapes, unless someone thinks this is ok?

  4. shiham please don't talk nonsense, by giving these irresponsible statements your making the public more ignorant, by giving example .. one boy was attacked in galolhu, my question is why was he attacked? what's the reason we have gangs here? yes the answer would be drugs im for sure and all other crimes are drug related... so the question is have you the police caught any gang leaders with drugs? the answer is no .. so what's the heavy budgeted drug enforcement force doing?

  5. Wow. That summary was terrifying and really puts things into perspective.

    None of this will be solved without proper witness protection and safety on the streets though.

    Seriously, how many policemen/women are there per person in Malé? I think it wouldn't be a far stretch to have a patrol on every single road until they have this sorted out. Pay them overtime. Nothing got solved without a little hard work.

    The police feel the need to cover their faces? What about the average guy giving a testimony in court?

  6. Police, please stop these gangs. This is destroying us ande our children.

  7. koba ekkala gadha gaumee salaamathaa behey committee. Maa bodah involve vevifa otheema dho .... maaa hot hotee dho. kuriyah Galolhu fehi lay ....

  8. POLICE can arrest!
    JUSTICE will release!
    Unless our JUSTICE SYSTEM is cleansed and drained off, fresh and clean blood is pumped into the system, nothing sensible can come through from that system!
    POLICE and the government can do what is good for the people! SO PLEASE DO IT!
    Corrupt and Incompetent criticism can wait until justice it claims for (if there is any) can be served!


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