Police have arrested a 46 year-old man living on the island of Ihavandhoo in Haa Alifu Atoll on suspicion of performing black magic.
Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef today told Minivan News that a man had been arrested Thursday (January 3) on the basis of reports received by authorities.
According to Haneef, the suspect was brought before a judge to decide on his detention period, with the presiding court granting police 10 days to detain the suspect.
Haneef said that lots of tools that could be used to perform black magic, such as documents, books and other materials were found at the suspect’s home.
Local media has reported that the man arrested was believed to be the Imam of the island.
An Ihavandhoo Island councillor has told local media that the suspect, originally from Fuvamulah, had moved to the island of Ihavandhoo last year December.
The councillor alleged that after the suspect arrived on the island, fears had risen among islanders that he had been performing black magic.
The councillor pointed to rumours that had been circulating since the suspect’s arrival on the island that disturbing incidents had been occurring on the island.
Back in June last year, the Maldives Police Service (MPS) arrested an opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activist on charges of practising black magic.
The Activist’s arrest at the time was made just days after the MPS had raided the MDP protest camp at Usfasgandu on the basis of “suspected black magic performed in the area”.
A warrant released at the time approved the raid on the basis of evidence alleged to include that people at the site had previously thrown a “cursed rooster” at Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officers.
A case is also presently being heard in the country’s courts concerning the murder of a 76 year-old male alleged to have been a sorcerer, whose body was discovered with with multiple stab wounds on the island of Kudahuvadhoo in January 2012.
Back in 1953, Hakeem Didi was executed by firing squad along with some alleged accomplices after they were found guilty of conspiracy to murder by black magic.
The case was the last time the Maldives judicially executed a criminal suspect.