The Maldives Police Service has said nine individuals were arrested during a recent 24 hour special operation conducted to try and curb crime rates in Male’.
In a statement, police said that the special operation, designed to try and make the capital more peaceful, was conducted between December 15 to December 16 – leading to the arrest of the nine men for a number of different offences.
Authorities have said that 359 persons were questioned in the capital during the operation, while 13 body searches were conducted over the 24 hour period.
Police reported that one case of theft, one case of robbery, three road accidents, one drug related crime and other seven cases were reported while the operation was going on.
Another key focus of the special operation was said to involve ensuring vehicles were being operated according to local regulations, law enforcement officials have said.
According to police, vehicle check points were therefore established at different areas of Male’ during the operation. 383 vehicles were checked during the operation.
Police stated that officers have also questioned individuals and groups deemed to be roaming around the capital without any purpose during the operation, which was conducted between Male’ City Police, Specialist Operations [SO] and Traffic Police.
On December 4, during a press conference to give details of the investigation in to the death of late MP and Religious Scholar Dr Afrasheem Ali, Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz called on parliament members to not hesitate in giving more powers to the police. Riyaz said at the time that such powers were required to curb growing criminal activities within Maldivian society.
“I know that members of the parliament are hesitant to grant more powers to the police because of the political views they hold. But we need stricter laws to stop such acts from happening. Hesitance to grant more powers isn’t a solution for police discrepancies. Powers should be granted and at the same time they can establish a proper accountability mechanism,” he said at the time.
The commissioner said that police would have “zero tolerance” towards criminals and would utilise all powers and resources at hand in preventing crimes.
“That means, we will not allow a drunkard to freely wander around the street. Police officers will question suspicious people on the road and they have been given the order to stop and search anyone who they feel is suspected of being a criminal or carrying out a crime,” he said.