The head of the police drug enforcement unit Mohamed Jinah has 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.
“They are not difficult to catch, but we want to catch them with a lot of proof and evidence. That is why it is taking so long.”
Jinah said that instead of focusing on capturing street level drug dealers, police had this year tried to target the higher levels and block the problem from the top.
”Hopefully, this year we will also arrest many smugglers and drug dealers,” he added.
Police also revealed today that they had pursued 2363 drugs-related cases in 2009, 1038 of which were sent to the prosecutor general’s office.
Police also conducted 200 “special operations to capture drug dealers in Male, ” Jinah revealed.
Last year police also seized 11.5 kilograms of drugs, including heroine, cannabis and benzodiazepine.
That haul meant the number of new drug users had been reduced by 43 per cent compared to previous years, Jinah said, citing a police survey.
Meanwhile, the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Service (DPRS) recently caused controversy by transferring 87 inmates to house arrest, many of whom were drug offenders caught in possession of less than three grams of narcotic.
The DPRS said seven of them had been returned to jail because of bad behaviour “and not following the rules we applied to them.”‘