Two men taken into police custody for possession of drugs and alcohol

Police have said today (April 8) that two individuals have been taken into custody for possession of what is suspected of being illicit narcotics, along with alcohol from M. Aathari.

The two locals arrested were a 27 year old and an 18 year old male.

The operation involved the raid of M. Aathari where 3 packets of suspicious substances were found, along with 7 bottles of alcohol, 16 empty bottles, a large amount of money and implements used to partake in illicit narcotics.

The Drug Enforcement Department is investigating the matter further, stated Police.

Yesterday, police revealed that a large cache of alcohol had been seized from a house in Malé the previous day.

A total of 115 bottles and 48 cans of liquor were seized in the raid.


Police reveal details of record drugs seizure

Police have released detailed information of the special operation conducted to seize 24kgs of heroin smuggled into the Maldives using an Iranian vessel last month.

A police officer implicated in the crime as well as the 11 Pakistani nationals on the Iranian vessel were among the 18 persons arrested in connection with the case.

In the statement the police said that officers involved in the operation experienced things that they had never experienced before, and it was noted that the police officers aboard the speedboat were not carrying any weapons.

Police said that officers involved in the operation first followed two Maldivians who went to Villimalé on March 4 where the Maldivian boat the ‘Violet’ was prepared to set sail to meet an Iranian vessel which had journeyed from Chahabar, Iran.

When the two Maldivians reached the boat docked in Villimalé harbour, the boat captain and three expats working on board had already made all preparations to set sail towards North Ari atoll at around 3:30pm.

Police officers were assigned to follow the ‘Violet’ on a gulf craft speedboat as it left Malé with intercepted communications revealing that the Maldivian boat planned to meet with the Iranian craft at 11pm that evening.

The boat reached North Ari atoll at 6:15pm, stopping in the ocean between Rasdhoo and Mathiveri, before making its first trip to meet the Iranian vessel at 3:30am in the morning.

According to police, the meeting point of the Iranian vessel and the ‘Violet’ was 30 nautical miles north of North Ari atoll. The Maldivian boat travelled outside the EEZ of the Maldives in heavy rain and rough seas with the police speedboat following throughout.

When the ‘Violet’ reached the meeting point, its crew was informed that the Iranian ship was still 450 miles away from the meeting point, and that they will take 56 hours to get there. The ‘Violet’ subsequently returned to North Ari atoll.

Police said the two men police originally followed subsequently returned to Malé, contacting their agent in Iran at 11:30pm to get details regarding the next attempted rendezvous.

The following day, as the ‘Violet’ refueled in preparation for its second trip to meet the Iranian vessel, the two Maldivians suspects attempted to transfer money to agents in Iran.

Police have revealed that the money was transferred by a member of the Maldives Police Service who has subsequently been arrested in connection with the case.

The next day ‘Violet’ travelled on the same route as before, again stopping between Ukulhas and Mathiveri, before being contacted at 12:45am by the Iranian ship which explained that it was 200 miles from the meeting point.

After receiving this news, the Maldivian boat travelled towards Baa Atoll – outside Maldivian territorial waters – and waited there until the Iranian vessel informed the crew that the drugs were hidden inside a small dingy in the Iranian vessel.

The following day (March 9) the Maldivian vessel reached the meeting point, but again had to wait for the Iranian vessel to get there the next morning.

When the two boats met the the Maldivian boat took a small dingy released by the Iranian vessel and began its trip back to Malé late in the afternoon of March 10, the police statement said.

Upon their arrival in Hulhumale’ that evening, all aboard ‘Violet’ were arrested and the drugs seized.

After collecting enough information to begin the operation, police assigned 16 officers to follow ‘Violet’: five intelligence officers were based in Mathiveri Island, a surveillance team consisting on seven officers was created.

Eight intelligence officers were assigned as a ground analysis team, and a further five were assigned as ground technical team. Three intelligence officers were assigned as covert team and two others were used to trace communications, the police statement revealed.


Police arrest five for drug possession

Police arrested five young people yesterday (Monday 10) for possession of illicit narcotics.

The Maldives Police Service reported that they were a “22 year old, a 21 year old, an 18 year old and two 17 year olds, all locals”.

The Police Life website stated that they were taken in at 3:36pm on March 10 based on information which stated that these individuals were “involved in the trafficking and trade of illicit narcotics within the country”.

A search of their house revealed 80 cellophane packets of suspicious substances. The Drug Enforcement Department is investigating the matter further.

Police have made conducted a number of raids in recent weeks, with Home Minister Umar Naseer having vowed that the main target of his ministry for the next five years would be curbing drug-related crimes.


Maldivian arrested in India released on bail

A Maldivian woman arrested in Trivandrum, India, in late December 2014 has been released on bail on Wednesday, the Maldives consulate has said.

She had been arrested on charges of breaching the Passport Law and Foreigners Registration Amendment Law of India.

The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court issued the order for her release on bail on Tuesday, local media quotes an unnamed official of the Maldivian Consulate in India.

Despite the order being released on Tuesday, she had to remain in detention as extra day until the consulate was able to sort out relevant bureaucratic papers with the concerned authorities of India, local media have said.

The woman’s bail had been granted upon the legal team’s assurance of presenting her to court for a scheduled hearing.

“She was released when two persons from India guaranteed that she will be presented to court. The case is not done yet. We do not know how long it will take for the case to be completed,” the official is quoted as saying.

The official further revealed that the woman had been arrested due to matters involving the tenancy of Maldivians in a rented house in Trivandrum. He stated that the officials had previously released an order looking for the woman, but neither she nor the consulate had known about the notice prior to the arrest.


Maldivian arrested in Trivandrum, India

The Foreign Ministry has confirmed on Tuesday that a Maldivian citizen has been arrested in Trivandrum, India.

The Ministry stated that the Maldivian Consulate in Trivandrum had been notified of the arrest on December 17 by the Medical College Police Station, and that the arrest was made on charges of breaching the Passport Law and Foreigners Registration Amendment Law of India.

On the day of arrest, the Maldivian’s case was heard at the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. According to the Ministry, the family of the detainee is now seeking possibilities of having the person released on bail.

The ministry stated that it is closely observing the matter through the Maldivian Consulate in Trivandrum, and that it will provide all possible cooperation and assistance within the boundaries of law.

The Ministry declined from providing details of the detainee’s identity.


Police arrest, charge two men for eating during Ramadan fasting hours

Police have arrested and charged two men who were caught eating during fasting hours.

Police identified the pair as Mohamed Saeed, 42 of Henveiru Happy Villa and Ibrahim Ali, 18 of Violet house in Maafaru, Noonu Atoll. Both names were sent to the Prosecutor General (PG)’s office for prosecution.

In a statement, police said the pair were discovered eating behind the Alimas Carnival Stage at 2:00pm on July 12, 2013. The investigation was concluded by July 24, and sent for prosecution.

Police Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef said eating during fasting hours was a crime under the Maldivian penal code.

‘’I think, although I am not entirely sure, it is a crime punishable by a sentence of up to one year in jail,’’ he explained.

Fasting hours during the month of Ramadan are from dawn to sunset. In the Maldives the dawn prayer is normally called at 4:40am and sunset at 6:23 pm.

During Ramadan in 2010, four men were arrested after they were caught eating in daylight hours. Two of those arrest were also made near the Alimas Carnival stage.

During the same Ramadan, another group of people were arrested while they were eating behind a construction site on the land behind the Dharubaaruge convention centre.

In 2009 a man was arrested for eating in daytime during Ramadan and was sent to the Criminal Court. The Criminal Court fined him MVR 500 (US$32) and ordered him to reinstate that day’s fast.


Prosecutor General’s Office appeals Criminal Court’s release of PPM Council Member arrested for assault

The Prosecutor General (PG)’s Office has appealed the Criminal Court’s decision not to extend the detention of Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Council Member Ahmed ‘Maaz’ Saleem for alleged assault.

Saleem was released on Sunday (July 14), the day following his arrest, after police “obtained information necessary for the investigation”, a police spokesperson told newspaper Haveeru.

However some of the individuals arrested after the alleged assault on a ferry captain remain in police custody, following the Criminal Court’s extension of their detention, according to local media.

The PG’s Office called for Saleem to be arrested during the appeal hearing held at the High Court this morning (July 21).

“He was arrested and brought in front of the Criminal Court judge. The judge believed him and ordered his release,” High Court Spokesperson Ameen Faisal told Minivan News today (July 21).

“The Prosecutor General again called for his arrest, which is basically how an appeal case goes on, especially regarding detention,” explained Faisal.

He confirmed that the ruling for Saleem’s detention case is scheduled tomorrow (July 22) at 10:30am.

The Criminal Court and Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef were not responding to calls at time of press.

Saleem and three other men were arrested over the alleged assault of an airport ferry captain Saturday (July 13). Saleem allegedly instructed the group to attack the ferry captain after accusing him of stealing a bag containing an iPad, according to a police account of the incident in local media.

Following the alleged assault, police took Saleem and his three companions into custody, as well as the injured ferry captain.

“We have received information that Saleem accused the captain of stealing the bag. He then got off the ferry and returned with a group and assaulted the captain,” a police spokesperson told Haveeru.

PPM MP Ahmed Nihan said the reported arrest of Saleem was a personal matter and was not anything to do with the party.

He said that he had been informed of the arrest at about 12:25am by a party supporter that “something went wrong” outside at the jetty near the Nasandhura Palace Hotel involving a computer or tablet device, but had no further details at time of press.

Nihan added that Saleem had not been directly involved with PPM campaigning since the party’s primary election earlier this year, that saw MP Abdulla Yameen elected as its presidential candidate.


Police arrest 48 year-old man for allegedly molesting 10 year-old girl

A 48 year-old man from Hoadedhdhoo Island in Gaafu Dhaal Atoll has been arrested for allegedly abusing a 10 year-old girl over a year and a half, reports local media.

The child’s mother had began to suspect “something was wrong”, a source from the island told local media. The victim, a fourth grade student, then told her how the man had molested her.

The Hoadedhdhoo Island Council told local media the man had been arrested and was in police custody on Thinadhoo Island in Gaafu Dhaal Atoll. Police are currently investigating the case.


Man arrested for allegedly producing 17 barrels of alcohol

A man in Vilimale’ was arrested for allegedly producing alcohol, reports local media.

The police services have told local media they found 17 barrels contain a substance substance suspected to be alcohol, six empty 5-litre bottles of alcohol, and equipment that could be used to produce alcohol.

Police arrested the 29-year-old Bangladeshi following a special operation and the case is now under investigation.