Man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for importing 0.8 grams of Xanax

A Maldivian man has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a MVR 50,000 (US$3,217) fine for importing less than one gram of a widely prescribed anti-anxiety drug.

Shafeeq Ibrahim of Seeni Hithadhoo, Soama was sentenced by the Criminal Court after confessing to importing drugs into the Maldives after arriving in Male on flight on October 7, 2012, local media reported.

A test of the substance that was carried into the country in two packets revealed it to contain 0.8314 grams of the commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drug Alprazolam, also known as Xanax.

Director Department of Judicial Administration Ahmed Maajid told Minivan News on Monday (March 11) that Shafeeq had not been caught with any substance other than Alprazolam.

“It is a pharmaceutical drug, but it is included in Schedule 2 of the Narcotics Act, and it is, by virtue of the act, an offence to import it [Alprazolam] unless it is by a licensed pharmacy,” Maajid said.

Despite the Xanax being the most popular psychiatric drug in the United States – according to American publication Forbes – Australian media reported the pharmaceutical drug to be as “addictive as heroin and harder to stop using”.

Criminal Court has ordered Shafeeq to pay the MVR 50,000 within a period of one month, according to local media.

Death penalty for illegal drug smuggling: NDA

In February, National Drug Agency (NDA) Chairperson Lubna Zahir called for the death penalty for those found to be importing illegal narcotics into the Maldives.

Speaking on state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM), Lubna claimed that drug importation needed to be in the same category as murder.

“We can only prevent drugs from coming into the Maldives by implementing the death penalty against them. Importing drugs is not a less serious crime.

”One solution to this is to implement the death penalty against those who bring in drugs and commit murder,” Lubna said.

Lubna requested parliament include the death penalty as the most severe punishment for drug smugglers when passing relevant laws.


17 thoughts on “Man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for importing 0.8 grams of Xanax”

  1. While I regard drug peddlers and importers to be scum, I cannot help but wonder about the magnanimity[scsm] of the sentence with regard to the crime.

  2. Maldives does not traffic in heavy quantities of drugs for domestic use as much as countries like, Iran, Thailand, Europe, US or South American countries, therefore the idea of 'death sentence' is absurd and out of context.

    First and foremost Lubna should find out who makes the import of such drugs possible in Maldives. Who are the main consumers of the high value drugs such as heroin, cocaine and pills that are now flooding the market. The street kids, or main stream users of drugs CANNOT afford even a can of Red Bull, how the hell could they afford such drugs.

    All over the world, hard drugs are consumed by the elite, the rich, celebrities, the powerful in simple, the UNTOUCHABLES who have connections in all levels of authority, and we all know who they are as we see them free even if convicted. Just a decade ago, 'oil'and brown sugar' were deliberately let into the country specifically to make the youth damp to an extent they cannot question a thing. It worked, apparently it went out of hand.

    If the authorities were to sentence dealers or users with maybe 1gm of whatever illegal drugs, believe me the jails will have more the ten thousands boys and girls by now. Statistics prove Maldives has more than 40,000 regular drug users and in every 1 out 10 they indulge in buying, selling or distribution.

    Using, dealing or distributing drugs is a personal thing created through influence or money. Maldives has more core problems affecting the youth that the authorities, parents, institutions DONT GIVE a SHIT about! and its shaming.

    If a referendum was called on passing a law to impose death penalty, I will vote for crimes related to sexual abuse towards children and women.

    To Lubna and her followers. Just take a minute and IMAGINE if it is your daughter or son below age 10 physically and sexually abused by an older man who without doubt maybe a close relative. Doesn't it pain to know this criminal animal freely is roaming on streets, goes for prayers and accepted by society? Or someone teaching a child religious teachings and takes advantage to sexually abuse him or her. At least 1 out of 10 teenage girls between age 13-19 in Male are sexually abused BY FORCE and the truth will never be told.

    These criminals should be hanged the same way the rapist in India got hanged in Tihar jail yesterday. First, they should be castrated, cut off their b...s, remove their eyes and let them suffer before hanging them, preferably on a Friday.

    You cant stop people taking drugs, but you can put a FULL STOP on all sexual abuses that are happening every day, in most houses in Male and in the islands. Why waste money to rehabilitate grownup drug dealers? Let them rot in their weird, fantasy world!

  3. “We can only prevent drugs from coming into the Maldives by implementing the death penalty against them. Importing drugs is not a less serious crime." Lubna

    one is powered by money the other is powered by rage sure those two crimes have similar results but its not the same psyche.
    with ur plan each & every drug dealer will be a murder without remorse.
    remember everything has an equal & opposite reaction.

    this will result in making murder that much easier

  4. There very few countries in the world where drug trading is legal even west is also does not allow this trading.

    We need to give very harsh sentence to these drug dealers and do not need to bow the heads to Nasheed and his allies.

  5. This guy has to be freed immediately! How insane does it get here? 10 years of imprisonment for 0.8 grams of a medicine?? WHAT THE BLOODY HELL!!

    I can't believe this, this must be a joke.

  6. this chap needs to be stoned to death. I mean he should be stoned to Deth with Xanax! Yuk yuk

  7. Wonder what Dr Waheed is doing to push forward legal reform in the country. Or may be I should ask what he is NOT doing?

  8. "National Drug Agency (NDA) Chairperson Lubna Zahir called for the death penalty for those found to be importing illegal narcotics into the Maldives."

    This is the type of overreaction that aims to solve everything but ends up ruining everything and solving nothing.

    This is also the problem with imposing death sentence in Maldives. At which point do we stop? We might as well start solving the littering problem by imposing death sentence of litterers.

  9. Another sign of the continued decline of The Maldives. Grossly disproportianate sentence... Tourists beware, this could be you!

  10. So technically even if a doctor has prescribed the drug, unless you own a pharmacy you can't have this drug on your person while travelling to Maldives.

  11. Lubna

    I am shocked that as a lawyer you call for the death penalty in a country that does not allow any evidence in our courts and justice delivered purely on confessions and witness statements.

    While I applaud your passionate references to our people being murdered by the drug lords of our country, I fail to see in any of your statement a commitment to legal reform. I find your position irresponsible, disturbing and downright unacceptable.

    Ambition is clearly fogging your brain.

    I would have thought that as a lawyer you would be pushing for the legal reform bills to be passed by government.

    To call for the death penalty in the Maldives with a judiciary in the state it is in is to endorse murder.

    Anyone can plant anything in anyones bag, house boat, whatever, in the Maldives. Signed witness statements ? Easily obtained in the Maldives for a fee. Confessions? No problem. Just beat the brains out of people held in custody.

    How many drug lords were released by Judge Abdulla for apparent lack of evidence, and yet just the other day a guy sentenced to 10 years prison and a fine for possessing an anxiety drug. .8grammes? And he is a drug dealer ??

    What hope have the parents and drug addicts have when we have people like Lubna as the Chair of the NDC?

    Oh yes, bring the death penalty in and kill off everyone who does not support Gayoom , and his cronies.

  12. Even if this was an intent of crime, how does it equate to 10 years of imprisonment! this is just sad. very very sad.

  13. Drug abuse and use will not stop in the maldives. nor any nation. it is the only tax free buisness and also the only business where buyers and sellers agree to put the authorities behind even in cases of cheat and fraud which if put into a statistic will show that 70% of gang fights occur due to deals gone wrong.. well thanks to Yamin and adam for the huge shipments which came in from 1996, the drug trade became a practice under age and over age.. some do for the easy money and some for domestic use. I want to know where lubna studied from, i guess she never came across reality and fiction studies. there are targets and goals which rely on factual reality of the issues at hand.. name one nation that has completely cut off drug abuse and i rest my case. as such; her motives are clearly targeted to get the support of extremists, fed by maumooon and his cronies. a mere directed effort to climb up the stairs.. yo lady! wake up,, pple have become more aware than that of the cronies regime. we know your game. and i also know that wherever you got your education from, you would have come across reality studies so why go shout useless? u just lost a considerable amount of support from the people in this generation. Sometimes i wonder, we would have done much better under the british, at least our country would have been much more developed. the link road they build long years back only now our f*govt is able to repair or renovate... that is the pace of our independent development.

    much like the maumoon bridge between hulhule n male...


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