Police have concluded an investigation into an incident in which 168 bottles of whiskey and menthol gin were discovered in a car registered to Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary group leader and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik.
Following the incident in February, Moosa claimed his driver was bribed to put “cheap alcohol” into his car in an attempt to frame him for the crime. The MP was in Singapore when the driver was arrested, the same day controversial liquor licensing regulations were unveiled by the Ministry of Economic Development.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the police would not declare whether Moosa had any connection with the bottles, and instead sent the case to the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office.
‘’We cannot declare whether Moosa should stand trial in this case,” Shiyam said. “The Prosecutor General’s Office will look into the matter and decide.”
He declined to disclose further information of the case.
Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.
Following the incident in February, Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair told Minivan News he had spoken with police about the incident “and it looks like a set up.”
“Whoever brought that booze out from their warehouse knew it would be confiscated. The brands are not what you would call hot sellers – it was menthol gin and watered-down whiskey.”
Zuhair told Minivan News at the time that he suspected expatriates had been bribed “and were connected to certain political opponents of Moosa Manik, owing to the fact he is currently in Singapore.”
DRP Deputy leader Ibrahim Shareef told Minivan News that he was “not surprised” at the case, “but I doubt it will go very far.”
In September Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Noonu Atoll wing leader Mohamed Abbas was arrested and charged for possession of a bottle suspected to contain alcohol.
Online newspaper based on Noonu Atoll, Velidhoo Online (VO), reported that three bottles of alcohol were discovered inside Abbas’s backpack, discovered by police when the three were checked on their arrival from the Ranveli Resort.