Police arrest suspected drug kingpin after months of investigations

Police have arrested an individual suspected of being one of the Maldives’ most high-profile drug dealers after spending several months collecting information about his procedures for importing narcotics into the country.

The Head of the police’s Drug Enforcement Department (DED), Superintendent Mohamed Jinah, told members of the press that the alleged drug lord was arrested Friday (June 24), along with several companions also suspected of involvement in supplying drugs.

Jinah identified the suspected dealer as Ibrahim ‘Shafa’ Shafaz, 30, of Lonumidhi in Maafannu ward.

Details of three of his companions – also suspected of involvement in the drug ring – were also revealed. Jinah identified them as Ismail Shameem, 30, of Thaa Atoll Thimarafushi, Hussein Atheek, 27, of Fehi in Maafannu ward and Hussein Athif, 25, of Kudhehige in Maafannu ward.

Jinah claimed that Shafaz has been suspected of importing drugs to the Maldives since 2005, with police having since labelled him as one of the country’s most high profile drug traffickers.

About 896 grams of illegal drugs were said to have been discovered inside his apartment following a police raid of the premises on Friday.  The apartment, which was rented in a building belonging to MP ‘Redwave’ Ahmed Saleem, contained a number of tools that could be used to pack drugs, while powdered narcotics were also found.

According to police, Ismail Shameem’s alleged role in the network was to distribute the drugs in small packets – originally bought in kilograms -while Hussein Atheek is suspected of transferring money to the network in Sri Lanka.

Hussein Athif is suspected by police of playing the most important role in the whole network by communicating with an agent in Sri Lanka in order to safely traffic drugs to the Maldives.

Jinah said the traffickers have been using an authorised money exchange company called A J Amporium to send funds to Sri Lanka, while another company named MC Galleria is alleged to have been receiving the money.

The drugs are believed to have been imported via Sri Lankan Airlines, though Jinah said these three companies were not suspected of being knowingly involved in the drug trafficking.

He said between February to April of this year, Rf1.3 million of drugs were trafficked in to the Maldives by this network.

Jinah claimed Shafaz had last year bought a shop named ‘Charm’ for Rf150,000 (US$9700) that was sold this month for Rf200,000.

Shafaz is also believed to rent three apartments in Male’, with one property having been rented for 21 years for Rf300,000.

He also owns a tailor shop which he bought for Rf200,000 (US$13,000) for 15 years, a shop in Kaafu Atoll Maafushi, a Suzuki Swift car for Rf180,000 (US$11,673), later sold for Rf170,000.

Jinah said a special DED operation to try and seize the suspect began in 2009 with significant cooperation from the Prosecutor General and Criminal Court.

Speaking from his office this morning, President Mohamed Nasheed said that police were now looking to investigate the exact methods of money transfer thought to have been used by the alleged drug dealers.

Nasheed claimed this morning that even if the investigation ended up being linked to his mother and father, he would not step back in fulfilling his pledge to clamp down on the drug trade.


13 thoughts on “Police arrest suspected drug kingpin after months of investigations”

  1. Never mind the President promising to lock up mothers and fathers; he has no control over what the judiciary will do when these drug lords go infront of them.

    I can say with a lot of confidence, that most of these guys will go scot free. Drug barons are untouchable in this country and has been proven time and time again! How many more times do we need to play this drama?

    Even if I was an eternal optimist, the worst sentence these guys get will be a few years in prison. They won't even complete their term and will be out in society doing what they have always been doing.

    There is no doubt that the Police have done a superb job in apprehending these criminals, but that's not going to stop them going free. I hope I am wrong; but I have lost faith completely.

  2. *yawn* ..*yawn*...*yet another yawn*. this is just another episode of the same drama!

  3. Sure sure,arrest the man,keep him somewhere,provide him with all the comfort&promise him that this is just a show for the common citizen...and exchange some more pleasantries among other things&let the kingpin go free when the drama is over!Another joke once again!By the way enjoy the loot all you concerned!!Don't forget to get a good share!!

  4. The above comments once again reflect the lack of faith in the democratic process established in the Maldives.

    The blame falls on the poor performance of all institutions with the President, as the head of State and self-declared propagator of democracy, to take the greatest responsibility.

    If public confidence remains at this level, the democratic experiment is doomed.

    The police have supposedly gone to great lengths to apprehend the suspect while allegedly committing a felony. They have done their homework this time. The criminal court and Prosecutor-General's office have supposedly given the police much-needed legal guidance. We can only speculate at this stage but the weight of evidence does seem to favor the State this time around.

  5. The drugs epidemic cannot be controlled until MDP is removed from power....The direct and indirect beneficiaries of this illicit trade are the inner circle of this yellow regime....Almost every member of the Yellow Fever kings inner circle uses alcohol or drugs..including his most trusted men in waiting....We need clean men to run this country.

  6. It is difficult to believe that Fayaz is the don of this drug gang.
    Maybe he is the second in command. Here we are talking of lot of money. So to organize this type of operation will need a lot funding. My other question is that why a drug dealer who has his own apartments in Male rent out a place from a rich Politician!
    Can someone enlighten me?

  7. "If public confidence remains at this level, the democratic experiment is doomed."

    That's the whole purpose of those with vested interests. They have been trying damn hard to get that message across; i.e. democracy is not good for us. That is precisely why the various institutions have been sabotaging any process that might lead to a better future.

    As everyone knows, it takes a lot of sweat and blood to build something good, but it only takes a second to destroy something. Maldivians in various sectors have learned to destroy everything.

  8. The Prosecutor General might have been much needed legal assistance to the Police, but the same PG has been shown to be incapable of producing a water tight case time after time.

    I really do not believe that the Criminal Courts gave any help to the Police that will be of any value. It simply is not in their interest to do so. In fact, I suspect they may have been "help" that may actually sabotage the case!

    This is not because I have no faith in the democratic process, but because I have no faith in certain institutions. They are rotten to the core. The foundations on which they were built are very shaky, i.e. some of these institutions are run by the same old guard of yesterday.

  9. @Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb

    by certain institutions being rotten to the core you must mean the highest office in the land, I agree with you fully on this point as things are getting worse day by day in this country of ours, its high time for our president to face the music as we put him where he is, he is supposed to be doing his job!

  10. The drug suppliers in Afghanistan will just approach another poor kid on the streets, give 'em a 500,000US$ starting bonus and tell 'em to get to work.

    Until the root cause of drug addiction is dealt with, drug dealers will find more incentive to deal.

    Because to the suppliers, even 10 million US$ is something they can pick their nose and flick away without a care.

  11. Its a matter of a small society in a concrete jungle with overpopulation and uncharacteristics.

  12. Maldives is definitely a cursed land. They have ditched the most wonderful ethics of budhism at one point of time. THey will have to pay a huge price for it. THe beautiful islands have been filled with atrocious and disordered minds.

  13. Of course the MDP is the sole party to blame for all malaise in society and all dysfunction within any institution.

    The public are reminded of the independence (meaning alliance to DRP) of the judiciary, civil service etc, only when it is expedient to the DRP-PA agenda- ie return to power at any cost.

    Never mind the ridiculous judiciary is their handiwork... when it come to blame, it is the MDP's fault.


Comments are closed.