Two MNDF officers and a policeman arrested in Malé drug bust

The Maldives Police Services has arrested two officers of the Maldives National Defense Forces (MNDF) and a policeman in a drug bust this morning.

Speaking to the press today, Drug Enforcement Department’s (DED) Head Superintendent Ahmed Shifan said three individuals were arrested at Avista café in Malé on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Following the arrest, the police conducted a search of Sinamalé apartment 12-03, and found 18 bullets of suspected heroin and tools to pack narcotics. A fourth man was arrested at the apartment.

The police officer arrested in the case is 28 years of age while the two MNDF officers are 24 years of age and 28 years of age.

A further two men were arrested on charges of drug trafficking in Malé this week. They were caught on the stairway of Galholu Mithuru in Malé with 27 pieces of cellophane and 23 packets thought to contain illegal drugs.

There has been a spike in the number of police officers arrested in drug busts this year.

In March, the police arrested a police sergeant in a drug bust involving 24 kg of heroin. The MVR36 million haul is the largest from a police operation in the country’s history. Four Maldivians, three Bangladeshis and 11 Pakistanis were also taken into custody.

Police later revealed that the officer had used a local money transfer service to send money to an Iranian agent.

Local media reported in August that the officer was among three Maldivian suspects released from custody after the Prosecutor General’s Office decided there was insufficient evidence for prosecution.

On November 11, a police officer and eight others were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking from Lhaviyani Atoll Hinnavaru Island.

According to the police, 16 bullet-sized rubber packets of “a substance suspected to be drugs,” 241 bullet-sized rubber packets of heroin, and 145 packets of hash oil were seized during an operation conducted by the DED in Hinnavaru.

A police officer and two others were also arrested in a drug bust in Addu City in October.

Speaking at a conference of police division and atoll commanders on October 22, Home Minister Umar Naseer said criminal gangs in the atolls were attempting to infiltrate the police by forging personal relationships with police officers stationed in their islands.

Gangs attempt to “penetrate” police stations in order to gather information to carry out criminal activities, he said.

Naseer said complaints have been received from various islands about offenders quickly learning of a crime being reported to the police.

Information was thus “leaking” from within the police, he added.

“So some people hesitate to share information with some police stations. This is very regrettable,” he said.

Commanders in the atolls should ensure that police officers do not fraternise with known criminals or suspected drug dealers, Naseer urged.

Naseer said he had received complaints from various islands about police officers spending time with suspected drug dealers when they were off-duty.

Commanders should be aware of who their subordinate officers “go to coffees or picnics with,” he advised, which should be controlled to ensure the “credibility of the police force on that island or atoll.”


Ismail Zihan surrenders himself to police

Police have said that Ismail Zihan, 21, of Medo in Galolhu – one of two persons searched for by the police for their alleged involvement in a local network that was seized earlier this month – has surrendered himself to the police yesterday (18 December).

In a statement issued today, the police said that he turned himself in yesterday afternoon at about 4pm.

The police said that Faisal Ibrahim, 23 of Anooma in Mahchangolhi – the second person police are looking for – has not been found and that search is still ongoing.

On December 5, police searched the premises of Henveiru Fahaageaage after obtaining a search warrant, finding drugs and money inside the house.

Police said that persons believed to be involved in the network were apprehended inside the house during the operation.

According to police, a total four persons have been arrested in connection with the case including a Pakistani and a Sri Lankan national.

Police appealed the public to share any information they have regarding the whereabouts of Faisal Ibrahim, and asked people to contact the police hotline 3322111 or police emergency 119 or police Drug Enforcement Department at 9792498.


Police fire head of Drug Enforcement Department

Former Head of the Police Drug Enforcement Department (DED), Mohamed Jinah, was relieved of police duty last Thursday January 10.

Speaking to Minivan News, Jinah said police had called him and informed him that he had been dismissed from police.

‘’They did not tell me why the decision was made, but they said they will send me documents containing information as to why I have been dismissed,’’ Jinah said. ‘’I don’t have much to say before I get the documents.’’

Jinah said he has not yet decided to file the matter in court.

‘’I will make a decision after I receive the documents clarifying why I was dismissed,’’ he added.

After the controversial transfer of power in February, Jinah was demoted to Chief Inspector of Police from his position as Police Chief Superintendent.

Jinah was the Head of the Drug Enforce Department (DED), but following February 7 was changed to the police planning department.

Jinah, former Chief Superintendent ‘MC’ Mohamed Hameed, former Superintendent Ibrahim Adnan Anees and Superintendent ‘Lady’ Ibrahim Manik were among a few senior officer who did not join a police revolt against the government on February 7, that led to the resignation of then President Mohamed Nasheed.

With the dismissal of Jinah, almost all senior police officers who did not take to the streets demanding Nasheed’s resignation on February 7 have now been dismissed.

On August 8 last year, the Police Disciplinary Board decided to relieve Chief Superintendent ‘MC’ Mohamed Hameed and Superintendent Ibrahim Adnan of duty.

Superintendent ‘Lady’ Ibrahim Manik was also demoted to Chief Inspector of Police, and the disciplinary badge on his uniform was removed.

Adhnan Anees, Ibrahim Manik and Mohamed Jinah were among senior officers allegedly assaulted by ordinary officers on February 7.

Video footage available on Youtube shows the former head of the Drug Enforcement Departmen being handcuffed and taken to the detention island Dhoonidhoo on the morning of February 7.

On June 14, police arrested Chief Superintendent Hameed following his contribution to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s report into the controversial transfer of power on February 7.

According to the MDP’s report, the attacks were carried out by police officers outside police headquarters on the instructions of Police Superintendent Abdulla Nawaz and Sub-Inspector Azeem Waheed.

The report stated that Corporal Ahmed Vikram ‘Viki’ hit Superintendent Anees with a wooden chair in the back, and struck Anees in the genitals with his leg.

Anees was then taken upstairs to the third floor of police headquarters and locked inside the DED’s storage room, along with Deputy Commissioner Ismail Atheef and Superintendent Ibrahim Manik, the report claimed.

According to the report, mutinying police officers subsequently broke open the door of the storage room and again attacked the three senior officers, before taking them downstairs.


Six women and four men arrested with alcohol, police and army uniforms

Police last night raided a house called Peach Melba in Henveiru ward, and arrested six women, four men and a minor, whose gender was not disclosed, after police discovered alcohol and police and army uniforms inside the residence.

According to a statement by police, officers raided the house in response to information reported to police, and arrested people inside the house.

Police officers discovered two bottles containing suspected alcohol, one empty alcohol bottle and glasses that were allegedly used to consume alcohol, police said.

A piece of cellophane containing suspected narcotics was also discovered after  police searched a cigarette packet on the shoe rack inside the room.

Furthermore, police said some police and army uniforms were also found inside, although the residence was not home to anyone employed in the police or Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

According to local media, police found police Special Operations (SO) combat uniforms and both MNDF combat and normal uniforms.

Police have not identified the 10 arrested, but said they were aged between 19 and 37 while the minor arrested was 16 years-old, according to police.

The police Drug Enforcement Department (DED) is further investigating the case.


Police officer kidnapped during a special operation conducted to arrest four men carrying alcohol

Police have said an officer was briefly kidnapped on Friday (August 31) during a special operation to crack down on a safari b0oat operator suspected of illegally supplying alcohol from a vessel moored in Hulhumale’ lagoon.

The special operation was conducted by the police Drug Enforcement Department (DED) following intelligence reports received by authorities that four men were allegedly unloading alcohol from a safari boat kept in the waters of Hulhumale’ to supply alcohol illegally on land.  Over 100 bottles of alcohol and forty cans of beer were later discovered during the operation, police have claimed.

Speaking to media at the Iskandar Building, DED Head Chief Inspector Ahmed Azhan said that two men from the safari boat came to Hulhumale’ jetty in a small dingy before being confronted by a police officer.  After the officer stepped onto the dingy to confront the men, the boat reportedly moved away from the jetty with the member of the police on-board.

Azhan told local press that a number of other police officers pursued the suspects in their own dingy that had been kept nearby.  Police eventually recovered the officer.

According to Azhan, officers then searched the dingy and found three bottles of alcohol inside a bag.

Police officers then went onboard the safari vessel to conduct a search that found alcohol bottles stored at different parts of the safari boat without any apparent arrangement or order.

Police said 106 bottles of alcohol and 40 cans of beer were found on the vessel once the search had been completed.

Azhan said the safari boat had the license to have alcohol on-board and noted that there were required procedures to follow for supplying such goods – procedures which the vessel’s operators had failed to maintain.

He also said that one of the four men arrested was a Maldivian male 42 years of age.  The other three individuals were all expats aged 27, 32 and 42.

Police have not so far disclosed the nationality of the expatriate workers on the boat, but said all four men were employed as staff on the safari vessel.


High Court invalidates Criminal Court verdict against police officer

The High Court has invalidated the Criminal Court’s ruling on a Police Drug Enforcement Department (DED) Officer.

The officer was accused of asking an inmate to find him two girls between the ages of 16 to 25 to have sex with him three nights from 8:00pm to 1:00am, and that in exchange the inmate was to be freed and the case dropped.

The High Court identified the inmate as Mabaah Waheed of Maafannu Jaina and the police officer as Police Constable Ahmed Ismail.

The Criminal Court had ruled that according to Mabaah’s statements, documents presented to the court and text messages sent to Mabah’s mobile phone warranted enough evidence to suggest claims made by Mabah against Ismail were true.

The High Court however noted that Mabaah was arrested by the police on a drug related matter in a case Ismail investigated, raising the possibility that Mabaah might have a grudge against Ismail and so his statements would be weak.

The High Court said in the ruling that Ismail had argued that evidences and statements given by Mabaah should be invalid because Mabaah was inclined to give false statements as Ismail had not commuted the investigation.

The texts allegedly sent to Mabaah by Ismail requesting for the girls were not tested by any digital analysis system, the High Court said, adding that there was not enough evidence to suggest the texts were really sent by Ismail.

The Court also said that there was no evidence other than the words of Mabaah that the documents, written in English, were given to him by Ismail asking for the two girls.

Delivering the verdict, the High Court said it was hard to believe that a person would give a document making such a request, and that the only evidence that the Prosecutor General has presented to the court was the document  and the text messages on the mobile phone, not enough to prove that the officer was guilty.


Drug kingpin arrested in India

A Maldivian drug kingpin, who was among the top six dealers the President announced had been identified by the government, has been arrested in India on a joint special operation conducted by Maldives police and the Indian Drug Bureau.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that the man was arrested yesterday while he was in India.

“He was arrested in a joint special operation conducted by the police Drug Enforcement Department and India’s Drug Bureau,” Shiyam said. “He is currently being held in detention in India.”

Shiyam said that his name and other details of the operation will be provided later.

On February 28 last year, Criminal Court ruled that Adam Naseer of H. Reendhooge was innocent of dealing drugs. He was later named by the President as one of the top drug dealers in the Maldives.

Police searched Naseer’s home in Addu Atoll on 30 June 2009, where they found over Rf6 million (US$461,500) in cash and a tin containing drugs outside his house.

On June 26, police arrested an individual suspected of being one of the Maldives’ most high-profile drug dealers after spending several months collecting information about his procedures for importing narcotics.

The Head of the police’s Drug Enforcement Department (DED), Superintendent Mohamed Jinah, told members of the press that the alleged drug lord was arrested on June 24, along with several companions also suspected of being involved in supplying drugs.


Two men arrested with three kilograms of drugs worth Rf1.7 million

Police have arrested two Maldivians with three kilograms of illegal narcotics during a special operation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED).

Speaking at a press conference held today at the Iskandar building, DED Superintendent Mohamed Jinah said that the police were able to seize the drugs before they had been circulated across the country, and that this was a great success for the police and government.

Jinah identified the two persons arrested as Hussein Sobah, 27, of Maduvvari in Raa Atoll and Mohamed Aswad, 29, of Nadella in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Police said the street value of these drugs would be Rf1.7 million (US$110,000) approximately.

The two men were arrested near the UN building in the Galolhu district on Male’, following intelligence reports, police said.

The Drug Enforcement squad searched a private office owned by the pair and found the three kilograms of drugs inside.

Furthermore, Jinah told the press that the drugs were imported with the assistance of a cargo vessel.

‘’The vessel drops these things into the sea into an area determined by them,’’ Jinah said. ‘’They went to the location on a dingy and picked it up and brought it to Male.’’


Drug Enforcement Department seizes illegal narcotics worth Rf1 million

A haul of illegal narcotics valued at more than Rf1 million was seized over the past two weeks, Superintendent Ahmed Jinah, head of the Police Drug Enforcement Department (DED), told local media today.

Jinah revealed that the total street value of the seized illegal drugs was estimated at about Rf1,040,000 (US$80,900).

“During  a special operation conducted by police, [we] seized 425 large packets of illegal drugs that were yet to be distributed to the streets,” he said. ”Two men have been arrested in connection with this case.”

Jinah did not divulge the names of the two persons adding that the investigation was at an early stage.

”The capture of these packets was a great success, as it could potentially have been out in the streets,” he said.

He added that police were now trying to determine who else may be involved in the case as well as how the drugs were smuggled in to the country.

Jinah claimed said that the past two weeks had been very successful in terms of the work of the police DED.

“We have seven very serious drug related cases now currently under investigation,” he said.

During the press conference, Inspector Ibrahim Nawaz, deputy head of the Serious and Organized Crime Department (SOC), said that police were currently trying to ensure that public parks and other public areas were safe and free of criminal activity.

“We are now monitoring the public parks and places made to comfort people at their free time, to make sure it is really used by the public,” Nawaz said.

Meanwhile, said Nawaz, a second round of rehabilitation programmes for minors was now underway at the Feydhufinolhu correctional training centre for juvenile delinquents.

“The qualification of some of the children we have at Feydhufinolhu is such a low level that it is hard for us to believe,” he said. “There are some children that do not even know how to read and write.”

The programme was intended for young people between the ages of 16 to 18.

“We advise parents to be more attentive to their children,” he said. “Sometimes, it has been reported that children threaten their parents telling them they will be physically attacked if their names were given to police to send them to Feydhufinolhu.”

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam meanwhile referred to a recent decision to publicise the identities of 17 high-profile “dangerous criminals” together with their crime records and alleged gang affiliation. Shiyam revealed that police have since received complaints from residents of certain areas in Male’ saying that they did not wish to be linked with the names of the gangs.