The Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced a man identified by the police as one of the top drug dealers in the Maldives to 25 year imprisonment for illegal trade of narcotics, with an additional five years for possessing an illegal narcotic without a prescription.
The Criminal Court identified the person as Hassan Yousuf, Mathimaradhoo ward of Gan in Laamu Atoll.
The court saidthat according to police officers that attended the scene to arrest Yousuf, he was holding a cigarette pack in his hand when he saw the officers and he threw the pack away.
When police picked up the cigarette pack and searched it, they found two grams of heroin inside.
Yousuf was arrested last year September in a special operation conducted by police, after they were informed that he was in possession of illegal narcotics.
“Police and society have recognised him as the top dealer in Laamu Atoll, and he has now been caught for the second time,’’ said Head of Drug Enforcement Department Superintendent Ahmed Jinah, at the time. “A recent case involving him is in trial, and he was again caught with suspected narcotics.”
Jinah said Yousuf was in police custody and the court had granted an extension of his detention to 10 days.
“The atolls have lately been used by drug traffickers for transportation and establishing hideouts,’’ Jinah said. ‘’We have conducted special operations in the islands to curb the number of users and dealers, which is hard and challenging due to the low numbers of police officers in the atolls and the large areas [to cover].’’
Jinah in September said police had observed that Addu Atoll, Laamu Atoll and Noonu Atoll were being used by dealers and users for transportation of drugs and the construction of hideouts.
Another drug related case against Yousuf is still ongoing in the court.