Violent assaults in Malé reprisals by gangs, reveals chief inspector

Police intelligence suggests that the spate of violent assaults in Malé during the past six days were gang reprisals “caused by a disturbance between two groups”, Chief Inspector Abdulla Satheeh said at a press briefing yesterday.

Three suspects were arrested in connection with two assaults and police are searching for two further suspects, he said.

All three suspects had prior criminal records, he added.

The cycle of violence began on Monday night (July 28) when an 18-year-old man was stabbed in the back in the Henveiru ward.

On the following night, two men were stabbed in Hulhumalé and a 23-year-old woman was stabbed in the back in Malé.

All five were hospitalised. Also on Tuesday night (July 29), a pedestrian was mugged and assaulted.

A 34-year-old was meanwhile stabbed to death on the island of Thulusdhoo in Kaafu atoll on Thursday night (July 31).

On the same night, a 22-year-old was stabbed in the neck in a narrow alley in the Manchangoalhi ward of Malé.

While a 19-year-old was knifed in the Henveiru Park on Friday night (August 1), a pair of 18-year-olds were stabbed on Saturday morning in the same area in broad daylight.

One of the victims – Mohamed Mazin, from Noonu Miladhoo – died while undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) on Saturday night (August 2).

Mazin was the 31st murder victim in the Maldives since 2007.

Chief Inspector Satheeh, head of the serious and organised crime department, said yesterday that no arrests had been made yet in connection with the murder.

Chief Inspector Ismail Naveen meanwhile told reporters that police have confiscated a number of weapons from areas in the capital where gangs congregate, including the Henveiru Park, the park on Alifkilegefaanu Magu, and the open area near the State Trading Organisation’s main office.


All 79 suspects arrested from Anbaraa festival tested positive for drugs, police reveal

All 79 suspects taken into police custody from the island of Anbaraa in Vaavu atoll tested positive for drugs, police have revealed.

Briefing the press today, Chief Inspector Abdulla Satheeh explained that police received intelligence information suggesting that alcohol and drugs were being used and sold at the two-day music festival held on the uninhabited island.

Police raided the island with a court order at midnight on Friday night (April 18), he noted.

The Drug Enforcement Department, Specialist Operations, police intelligence department, and the forensic department conducted the operation, Satheeh said.

Upon searching the island as well as the 198 partygoers, Satheeh said police discovered different types of drugs and more than MVR90,000 (US$5,836) in cash.

In addition to beer cans, the drugs confiscated from the island included pills, LSD stickers, and hash oil joints as well as rubber packets, cellophane packets, and film canisters containing cannabis, Satheeh said.

The drugs, beer cans, and cash were displayed in a video presentation at the press briefing.

While all 198 persons on the island were held and searched, the chief inspector noted that the 79 individuals were arrested after drugs were found either in their possession or at the scene.

Police revealed earlier that the 79 suspects included one female minor, 19 women and 59 men, including one foreign male.

While the remaining 119 were released without charge, Satheeh revealed that none of them were tested for drug use.

Arrangements were not in place to conduct drug tests on the island, he added.

The 79 persons taken into custody were arrested either with drugs in their possession or because police suspected they were under the influence of drugs, Satheeh noted.

Contrary to media reports claiming that a number of people were naked, Satheeh said individuals of both genders were “wearing revealing clothing” when police raided the island.

Asked about the organisers of the festival and lease holder of the uninhabited island, Satheeh said he could not disclose further details as the initial stage of the investigation.