National Drug Agency warns of strong illicit drug in Male’

The National Drug Agency (NDA) has issued a statement warning people of a strong illicit drug in Male’.

The NDA said that the substance has harmful effects such as seizures, breathing difficulties and that it effects the functioning of the heart leading to death.

The NDA advised people to seek the help of a doctor as soon as possible if they come across any of the stated symptoms.

The drug agency did not mention the name of the drug nor what it looked like, but stated that their free toll 1410 will provide details of the drug.

Minivan News contacted 1410 and was forwarded to the front desk where they said there was no one at the NDA who could provide details of the drug mentioned in the statement.

However, NDA Treatment Department Head Abdulla Faseeh has told local media that drug dealers have been mixing illicit drugs with depressants without considering the quantity or the type of controlled drugs they are mixing it with.

Faseeh told newspaper Haveeru that drug dealers had mixed different types of controlled prescription drugs with illicit drugs in the black market.

In March 2009, Minivan News reported a series of deaths related to heroin laced with benzodiazepine, a class of psychoactive drugs.

The combination of benzodiazepine with opiates is known to lead to coma and even death.

The 2009 deaths included a number of users committing or attempting suicide. Earlier this week, a man was reported to have hanged himself inside an unused political party campaign office.

The area was reported to have been frequented by drug addicts living in the area after the Jumhooree Party stopped conducting political activities in the area.

In February this year the first drug survey done in the Maldives was released, showing that there were an estimated 7,500 drug users in the Maldives of which the majority were young people between the ages 15 and 24.

The survey showed that cannabis was the most popular used drug, followed by alcohol and opioids. It reported that there were about 200 intravenous drug users in Male’ and 300 in the other parts of the country who are vulnerable to the spread of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.

Police statistics show that drugs related offences have increased by 16.4 percent this year in comparison to last year’s figures.


“Not long” before police arrest remaining four top dealers, says police drugs chief

The head of the police drug enforcement unit Mohamed Jinah has claimed “it won’t be long” before police arrest the remaining four of the top six drug dealers identified by President Mohamed Nasheed.

“Two of the top six drug dealers have been arrested. We will arrest the remaining four as soon as possible,” he promised.

“They are not difficult to catch, but we want to catch them with a lot of proof and evidence. That is why it is taking so long.”

Jinah said that instead of focusing on capturing street level drug dealers, police had this year tried to target the higher levels and block the problem from the top.

”Hopefully, this year we will also arrest many smugglers and drug dealers,” he added.

Police also revealed today that they had pursued 2363 drugs-related cases in 2009, 1038 of which were sent to the prosecutor general’s office.

Police also conducted 200 “special operations to capture drug dealers in Male, ” Jinah revealed.

Last year police also seized 11.5 kilograms of drugs, including heroine, cannabis and benzodiazepine.

That haul meant the number of new drug users had been reduced by 43 per cent compared to previous years, Jinah said, citing a police survey.

Meanwhile, the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Service (DPRS) recently caused controversy by transferring 87 inmates to house arrest, many of whom were drug offenders caught in possession of less than three grams of narcotic.

The DPRS said seven of them had been returned to jail because of bad behaviour “and not following the rules we applied to them.”‘