Four arrested over Fares-Mathoda Health Centre theft

Police have confirmed the arrest of four people in connection to the theft on Sunday (January 6) of a safe from a health centre located on the island of Fares-Maathoda in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Haneef confirmed the arrests today, while also disclosing that the safe taken during the raid had been uncovered.

According to Haneef, the safe, which had been used to keep wages and other payments to health centre staff, had been discovered in waters surrounding the island yesterday (January 7).

“The safe was severely damaged when it was found and there was no money in it,” he said.

Local media has reported that an estimated MVR 28,000 (US$ 1,830) had been kept in the safe at the time of the theft.

The Manager of Fares-Mathoda Health Centre Mohamed Waheed has told Minivan News that thieves had broken though the health centre’s windows to gain entry to the building before managing to remove the safe from the property.

‘’It is a huge loss for the health centre, the money they stole had been saved to pay the salary of a staff that was on leave,’’ Waheed said. “It is the money saved to pay some allowances to the expatriate staff working here as well.’’

Waheed claimed the Health Centre presently had no budget, and may require government assistance to cover its losses.

“We are hoping that the Health Ministry will provide assistance to the Health Centre,” he said. “I understand that the stolen safe was found but [was] empty. We are also not provided with details of the investigation until it is completed.’’

Fares-Mathoda’s Island Council has told the local media that there had been growing concern at a perceived increase in crimes occurring in the area of late.


Mother of former Environment Minister sues police for damage to house during Nasheed’s arrest

Mother of former Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, Rasheedha Mohamed, has sued police for damage caused to her house by police officers during the raid to arrest former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Speaking to Minivan News, Aslam confirmed his mother had filed a case at the Fares-Mathoda Magistrate Court, alleging police had disrespected the privacy of their house as guaranteed to all citizens in the constitution.

‘’It is not about the amount of money to compensate for the damage, it has all got to do with the procedure they applied to arrest Nasheed,’’ Aslam said.

‘’I was on the doorstep when the police officers arrived. They showed me the warrant issued by the court to arrest Nasheed and I told them to wait there while I passed the message to him,’’ Aslam explained.

‘’But they followed me inside and started searching all over, breaking doors and calling Nasheed to come out from his room,’’ Aslam said. ‘’It would have been right for them to use excessive force if they had let me forward the message to Nasheed and Nasheed had refused to come out.’’

Aslam said had Nasheed refused to come out, police could have asked his mother’s permission to enter the house to arrest a person as ordered to do so by the court.

He also said that police asked Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Nazim to open the toilet door while he was inside.

‘’Nazim told the officers that it was him but officers demanded to open the door and he did open the door. Then a while later they broke the toilet door while he was inside,’’ he said.

Following allegations made against police after the arrest of Nasheed, police issued a statement that day claiming that police officers followed professional standards in arresting Nasheed.

In the statement, police said they initially requested Nasheed hand himself over to the police. According to police, officers broke down the door of the room Nasheed was in and detained him after he failed to respond to their initial commands. The statement claimed that this is the general course of action used by police in similar situations.

The police denied that any officers used offensive language or that any physical or that psychological trauma was caused to anyone during the arrest.