Commissioner says arrests made on night of areca palm vandalism unrelated

Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed says the arrests made on the night of the areca palm tree felling are unrelated to the case, and that the Maldives Police Service (MPS) is working ceaselessly to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Speaking at a press conference held at MPS Iskandhar Koshi, Waheed also said various allegations made by different people accusing MPS of involvement in the vandalism are baseless and that that it is trying its best to clear itself from such allegations.

In response to a question as to who the people detained are, Waheed replied by saying that MPS knows who was detained and that these people were involved in a wholly unrelated incident.

Yesterday (October 28), former President Mohamed Nasheed submitted details of police officers he believed to behind the vandalism to the Malé City Council after it had requested the public to submit any information.

“How can people who were sleeping at the time of crime know what the names of the perpetrators were even when the police officers on scene did not take their details?” said Waheed in response to Nasheed’s information.

Nasheed had alleged that two men were arrested by Maafannu police at around 3am following the incident before a senior official from the Special Operations (SO) unit arrived and demanded the arrested men to be put into an SO vehicle.

Two officers from Maafannu Police followed the SO vehicle after the arrested men were handed over, only to find that the vehicle entered Iskandhar Koshi police headquarters, explained the former president.

Nasheed also accused one high ranking police official of revising a statement put forward by a Maafannu Police officer at the scene that night, cutting down a two-page statements to half a page and instructing other officers at the station to not speak about the incident.

“Measures would be taken against the people who make false allegations about the MPS which does hard work in order to ensure the protection and the well-being of the community,” warned Waheed.

Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer revealed in a tweet yesterday that he had received Nasheed’s report.

“This govt will NOT ask Police/MNDF to carryout anything unlawful,” wrote Naseer.

The home minister has also instructed all police executives to assist the Police Integrity Commission it any investigation.

A police media official confirmed Minivan News yesterday that a professional standards investigation is being carried out after the increasing prevalence of reports of police involvement in the incident.

MDP Malé MPs voiced their concerns to the media over the increase of crimes in the capital and accused the government of “state sponsored terrorism” in its refusal to take adequate actions for the crimes happening in Malé.