An independent laboratory will begin drug testing this month on urine samples provided by police, reports Haveeru.
Under the landmark Drug Act enacted in January 2012, the National Drug Agency (NDA) was required to assign a private laboratory to conduct testing before June 2013.
The prosecutor general’s office subsequently ceased filing drug abuse cases in court, apart from cases in which suspects confessed. It is unclear whether suspects in the remaining cases will now face charges.
NDA CEO Ahmed Muneer said on Sunday that Med-Lab Diagnostic Centre has been contracted to conduct drug testing for a period of five years.
In November, the drug agency called for a third time for private parties to apply to conduct the drugs tests.
The NGA is the designated lead agency dealing with all issues related to drug prevention, harm reduction and treatment.
Police are seeking an independent private party to conduct drug testing on urine samples taken from suspects.
An announcement by the National Drug Agency (NDA) explained that the Drug Act requires urine samples to be divided into two and for the second sample to be tested in a private laboratory.
The independent laboratory would be contracted for a five-year period.
The drug law stipulates that the private party would be assigned in accordance with regulations enacted by the NDA.
According to the NDA, the announcement seeking a private party is being made for a third time after no interested parties came forward following the first two announcements.
Under the landmark Drug Act, the NDA was designated the lead agency dealing with all issues related to drug prevention, harm reduction, and treatment.
Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed submitted to drug testing by the police professional standards command last week.
According to police media, Waheed was not aware that he would be asked to provide a urine sample when he was “summoned” to the professional standards command on Wednesday night (July 16).
The test “proved that Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed is not a drug user.”
In March 2013, former Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz set up a special department to randomly test police officers for drug and alcohol use.
Riyaz issued an order to conduct drug testing on eight police officers picked at random each month.
Police revealed last week that 167 police officers have been tested so far.
The move followed allegations by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party that riot police officers at the party’s demonstrations following the controversial transfer of power on February 7, 2012 were intoxicated.
Delayed caused by broken drug-testing machinery have been resolved, Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News today. Shiyam was responding to allegations that procedures at the Criminal Court had been delayed by malfunctioning machinery.
The Criminal Court could not confirm that there are no more pending cases.
Earlier today, Haveeru reported that drug-testing machines have been malfunctioning since June 14, causing a three-month delay in court procedures.
The report stated that police were unable to submit test reports to drug-related cases since mid-June, and that there was no alternative drug-testing method.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News today that the issue has been generally resolved.
“The machine for drug detection normally works on an on-and-off basis, so this is not completely unusual for us” said Shiyam. “If there are problems, its our responsibility and we will fix it.”
Shiyam added that the police do have other means for detecting and testing illegal drugs, such as a forensics department.
“It is really important to get details and evidence to the court as soon as possible in these drug cases,” he said.
The Criminal Court reportedly learned of the malfunction when it enquired about a delay in drug-test reports. The court said several suspects in drug-related cases have complained about the processing delay, reports Haveeru.
Haveeru reported that the police were unable to verify the alleged drugs confiscated from the high profile drugs smuggling network busted on June 23.
About 1kg of alleged drugs and large amounts of cash were seized from the network.