More mules arrested in latest drug bust

Police have taken two Maldivians into custody at Male’ airport after receiving information from India that the pair were carrying drugs.

Twenty-five year-old Nishana Rasheed of M. Lansimoog and a 17-year-old girl travelling with her were detained by customs officers after arriving in Male’ from Trivandrum in India.

Searching their bags, officers discovered 1.3 kilograms of hash oil in polythene bags wrapped up inside bed sheets. A further search of the women found over 100 grams of heroin concealed on their

The total street value of the drugs would have been more than Rf400,000 (US$31,000), estimated Sergeant Shiyam from the Maldives Police Service.

“We would consider anything more than a kilogram to be a large bust,” Shiyam said.

The use of drug mules to get contraband into the country is a growing trend, according to the Maldivian Customs Service.

Last month four Maldivians also travelling back from Trivandrum were detained after over a kilogram of hash oil was found in cardboard boxes in their luggage.

Nishana Rasheed
Nishana Rasheed, suspected drug mule

The two men and two women claimed the boxes were given to them to bring to Male’ by another Maldivian in Trivandrum.

In April an elderly couple were detained after customs discovered them carrying a casserole dish containing more than a kilogram of heroin. They had also travelled from Trivandrum.

The prosecutor general has since charged Hussain Mohamed Manik of H. Rehi for his involvement in the crime.

President Mohamed Nasheed revealed in May that the identities of the country’s top six drug kingpins were known to the government, but said arrests could not be made before the parliamentary elections in case they were thought to be politically motivated.

Police meanwhile has appealed to travellers to inspect the contents of packages given to them by other people before travelling, as they would “have to bear full responsibility for anything in their luggage or possession.”