The Maldives Police Services today destroyed 720 bottles of Smirnoff vodka in front of assembled media, after seizing it during a raid in February last year.
Such bottles are imported legally at a cost of US$8 and wholesaled to resorts at around US$12, but fetch up to Rf1200 (US$93) on the black market in Male’.
The price has inflated substantially following the cancellation and lapse of most liquor licenses issued to expatriates, giving the total bust a final street value of Rf864,000 (US$67,237).
Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Sadiq said it was the first time police had “destroyed alcohol bottles with transparency.”
‘’Now the investigation of this case is concluded as well as the legal process,’’ said Sadiq. “We terminate seized drugs only after the investigation and the legal procedure is concluded, as it is a responsibility of the police to protect evidence util the court stage is over.’’
Sadiq said although many alcohol bottles had been seized during different cases, items were not destroyed because the legal procedure or the investigation was not concluded.
All the bottles were poured into a hole dug in the ground, in the presence of a special committee formed under the new Act to eliminate drugs and inspect their destruction.
The committee consists of two representatives from the Prosecutor General’s office, two representatives from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), two representatives from NGOs and two from police.