Police have today announced the capture of a suspected drug lord ‘’who had been trafficking a wide range of substances’’ after claiming to have found 100 grams of narcotics on the individual.
Police identified the suspect as 50 year-old Maldivian Mohamed Rasheed Abdul Bagir, who was arrested on 12 March at about 4:00pm.
Superintendent Ahmed Jinah, head of the police’s Drug Enforcement Department, today told media that the suspect had been followed by the force’s Drug Intelligence department. He claimed that officers moved to arrest him they were certain he was in possession of illegal drugs.
Jinah stated that 100 grams of narcotics were discovered in Bagir’s trouser’s pocket as he was searched.
In 2007, Bagir was accused of assisting a Pakistani named Mansoor Hussein, who was arrested while attempting to traffic 8 kilograms of illegal drugs in to the Maldives, according to Jinah.
The police claimed that during their investigation into the case, Mansoor confessed that Bagir assisted him.
Bagir’s case was not sent to the court then, Jinah said, because the Prosecutor General’s Office said there was not enough evidence to charge him.
Jinah told the media that it was believed that Bagir have direct links to a wide drug network in Pakistan that produces and export illegal narcotics to various countries.
Jinah alleged that he [Bagir] had been importing drugs to the Maldives as a wide commercial business.
The case comes as politicians such as President Mohamed Nasheed continue to highlights drug abuse as a major challenge to the country’s law enforcement agencies.
In February, police announced that they had made a number of successful crackdowns on drug use in the country, claiming to have captured a large haul of narcotics with a street value totaling thousands of US Dollars.
Back in November 2010, Minivan News also reported that two Maldivian nationals have been arrested in Trivandrum Airport in India for allegedly trying to traffic drugs to the Maldives smuggled into the baggage of a 14 year-old passenger.
Earlier during the year in September, Maldivian police said they had arrested 23 people suspected of having links with the country’s drug trade that led to 36 separate cases being sent to the Prosecutor General’s office.
These allegations follow a number of high profile drug seizures made by Maldives Customs Services during the last two years from areas such as Trivandrum in India, where 12 separate attempts at transporting illegal narcotics were recorded. These attempts saw a cache of drugs seized totaling 12.56 kilograms with a street value of Rf 11 million – uncovered during 2009 alone.