Police seek FBI, Singaporean police assistance to analyse evidence in MP Afrasheem homicide case

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) is seeking assistance from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Singaporean police to analyse about 200 items collected as evidence during the ongoing investigation into the brutal murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali, Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Superintendent Riyaz said that the murder of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP and moderate religious scholar on October 2 was premeditated and meticulously “planned in advance”, adding that the case was unique and “unprecedented” in the Maldives.

Police have questioned everyone who spoke to the Raa Ungoofaru MP on the night of October 1 after his final appearance on state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM), Inspector Riyaz said. Dr Afrasheem reportedly left the TVM studios around 11pm on October 1.

Evidence gathered so far included recordings of phone conversations, forensic samples and over 300 hours of CCTV footage, Riyaz continued, which were being analysed at the police forensic laboratory with the help of foreign experts.

CCTV footage showed the MP driving his car on his way home, Riyaz revealed. He added that two experts from the FBI were in the Maldives to assist the police investigation.

Addressing complaints over the lack of information made public and the delay in concluding the case, Riyaz said police wanted to conduct a full and thorough investigation instead of “rushing the investigation.”

“Our aim to carry out a thorough investigation and bring everyone involved in this heinous crime to face justice. We are working patiently towards that goal. We assure the media and the public that the police will patiently investigate the case and reveal information in due course,” he said.

Full details of the case would be made public upon conclusion of the investigation, the police superintendent added.

Asked if Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activist Mariyam Naifa – one of six suspects arrested in the case – was released by the Criminal Court due to lack of evidence, Riyaz explained that as a rule the court released suspects in cases where it deems the police investigation could proceed without keeping the suspect in custody.

Five suspects in the homicide case currently remain in detention. Riyaz meanwhile added that police could only reveal information at this stage to an extent that would not compromise or hinder the ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, in a separate briefing on Wednesday, Head of Central Operations Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdulla Saudhi revealed that police were providing 24-hour security to 81 individuals using 170 police personnel.

Saudhi noted that police were constitutionally obliged to provide security to MPs and members of the judiciary, adding that police began providing round the clock security following the brutal murder of MP Afrasheem while security measures for some individuals were increased based on assessed threat levels.

Noting that police have increased patrolling of streets, the assistant commissioner revealed that officers on patrol have questioned 2,930 individuals in the past few weeks and prepared their profiles.

Saudhi praised the government’s decision to revoke licenses of businesses to operate 24-hours and said that the move was producing results in terms of the number of people out on the streets after midnight.


12 thoughts on “Police seek FBI, Singaporean police assistance to analyse evidence in MP Afrasheem homicide case”

  1. I am amazed by the "professionalism" of the MPS. A person was murdered literally outside his doorstep, in one of the smallest and most densely populated places on earth.

    There should have been forensic evidence aplenty. The late Dr Afrasheem's blood was all over the area. Whoever carried out this evil act would have been soaked in blood. There is little to question about the weapons that were used and the whole area has CCTV installations.

    In any other country, the real perpetrators will now be behind bars. As this was a very high profile case, the first thing the super efficient MPS and the Maldivian military should have done is lock down Male! For God's sake, this is a tiny island. If required, a house-to-house, flat-to-flat search should have been done in the hours following the murder.

    I am not the only one who believes that MPS are not only incompetent, but are acting deliberately so, to protect certain interests.

  2. Another week attempt to show they are interested in finding who murdered the MP. This is an insult to the intelligence of Maldivians!

  3. @Ahmed:

    Our laws do not empower the Maldives Police Service to lock down an entire island and search private property without a court warrant.

    You've become quite the firebrand activist these days haven't you? At least speak some sense.

    Wouldn't it be lovely if nations across the world could just forget about human rights, private ownership rights and freedom of movement every time a murder takes place? Oh wait...no!...That wouldn't be so lovely after all....would it Addu???

  4. I seriously think that MPS should also rope in the services of the KGB and the Mossad(Israeli). The more the merrier....

  5. Why do we spend so much money on our own police? I believe outsourcing our police work would work better in Maldives and would cost us a lot less too. It's quite obvious that our police force isn't of much use. Not a very smart bunch are we?

  6. @tsk tsk on Fri, 26th Oct 2012 8:28 PM

    "Our laws do not empower the Maldives Police Service to lock down an entire island and search private property without a court warrant."

    There are provisions in the laws of every land to do whatever is necessary to establish national security! Hiding behind a facade of "human rights" is a convenient political expedient, when it suits certain people.

    The "human rights" of a lot of families have been totally decimated by violent crime and there is no end in sight of that.

  7. I am with @Angagatha Mithiru! This is just a PR exercise. For the relatively large amount of resources available to them (finance, man power, equipment, transport, space in Male', high pay etc) they have not been able to deliver results. When the shops are closed the streets are really dark and create favorable conditions for crime. It is time for MPS to focus on crime prevention rather than playing politics! For me the services provided by the MPS is not value for money!

  8. A Rogue Police Commissioner and his mercenaries can only hinder investigation and confuse the issue as much as they can. I believe foreign intelligence are onto it while the local police mercenaries try to cover up with their fahari friends. The cat is out of the bag!

  9. "two experts from the FBI were in the Maldives to assist the police investigation."

    Two experts WERE here to assist in the investigation but are not here anymore!

    If they have left, there is no possible to know why they left.

    It is also possible to believe that the reason why they left cannot be revealed yet because the case is ongoing!

    However, if left were due to the fact that the body of the murdered was not available to site, I am sorry the case is over!

    Because, to my belief, a professional, true to the trade, will have to physically see the body of the murdered, and physically take samples of that body for any possible DNA tests or whatever they do.

    If materials were supplied by our police, I am afraid they only can come to a "said to be" conclusion because they cannot state that the material for DNA was collected from the body of Dr. Afrasheem they sighted!

    I am sure a good lawyer defending the accused will have no difficulty proving the accused not guilty of murdering
    Dr. Afrasheem!

    However, if the Singaporean FBI is involved in this case, I am afraid, we already have had the pleasure of a case where a coup brought about in front of us and in the media in broad daylight, was proven "not a coup" by a Singaporean judge!

  10. The police are very cool while the murderers are roaming freely in Male' city.

    The question is can they do that. I doubt, they are more interested in harassing MDP supporters and MDP politicians.

  11. Singaporean people are most the corruption free people in the world as per Azima Shukoor. Singapore Judge Selvam showed us that with his cooked up coup report. And now Singapore Police??


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