Police have said an officer was briefly kidnapped on Friday (August 31) during a special operation to crack down on a safari b0oat operator suspected of illegally supplying alcohol from a vessel moored in Hulhumale’ lagoon.
The special operation was conducted by the police Drug Enforcement Department (DED) following intelligence reports received by authorities that four men were allegedly unloading alcohol from a safari boat kept in the waters of Hulhumale’ to supply alcohol illegally on land. Over 100 bottles of alcohol and forty cans of beer were later discovered during the operation, police have claimed.
Speaking to media at the Iskandar Building, DED Head Chief Inspector Ahmed Azhan said that two men from the safari boat came to Hulhumale’ jetty in a small dingy before being confronted by a police officer. After the officer stepped onto the dingy to confront the men, the boat reportedly moved away from the jetty with the member of the police on-board.
Azhan told local press that a number of other police officers pursued the suspects in their own dingy that had been kept nearby. Police eventually recovered the officer.
According to Azhan, officers then searched the dingy and found three bottles of alcohol inside a bag.
Police officers then went onboard the safari vessel to conduct a search that found alcohol bottles stored at different parts of the safari boat without any apparent arrangement or order.
Police said 106 bottles of alcohol and 40 cans of beer were found on the vessel once the search had been completed.
Azhan said the safari boat had the license to have alcohol on-board and noted that there were required procedures to follow for supplying such goods – procedures which the vessel’s operators had failed to maintain.
He also said that one of the four men arrested was a Maldivian male 42 years of age. The other three individuals were all expats aged 27, 32 and 42.
Police have not so far disclosed the nationality of the expatriate workers on the boat, but said all four men were employed as staff on the safari vessel.