Police accuse Nazim of plotting coup, planning to harm senior government officials

Additional reporting by Mohamed Saif Fatih

The Maldives Police Services has accused former Defense Minister (retired) Colonel Mohamed Nazim of plotting to overthrow the government and harm senior government officials.

A police statement issued at 9pm tonight claimed to have found documents in a pen drive confiscated from Nazim’s house during a midnight raid on January 18 suggesting he “was plotting to physically harm senior Maldivian state officials.”

“In addition, police intelligence has received information that he was plotting with various parties to overthrow the government,” the statement read.

During the search, the police claimed to have found a pistol, bullets and an improvised explosive device.

Nazim was arrested at 1:15am on Tuesday (February 10) on charges of treason and possession of illegal weapons. The Criminal Court has extended his detention for 15 days.

At a 9pm press conference at Villa TV tonight, Nazim’s legal team said the former minister is being framed and have implied the firearms found during the raid were planted. Nazim’s remand sentence is to be appealed at the High Court tomorrow.

If convicted, Nazim faces a jail term between seven and ten years. The police have forwarded charges to the Prosecutor General’s Office.


Nazim’s lawyer Maumoon Hameed suggested weapons may have been planted, claiming police officers who raided Nazim’s apartment had spent ten minutes in the bedroom in his absence.  Further, police only announced they had found an improvised explosive device days later after an analysis conducted without independent oversight, he said.

“This is nonsense,” Hameed repeatedly told the press at Villa TV tonight.

After police forced open Nazim’s door at 3:30am on January 18, police immediately entered Nazim’s bedroom, taking him, his wife and two of their children to the living room, Hameed explained.

“After the whole family was taken to the sitting room, the police officers who had initially entered the apartment remained in the master bedroom for approximately ten minutes.”

A team of plainclothes officers arrived afterwards and produced a search warrant. The pistol and three live bullets were found in a bedroom drawer during a search in Nazim’s presence.

The improvised explosive device had not been found during the initial search and the item was not even listed in a record of items found during the search, he said.

The police have maintained they were unaware the apartment they were raiding belonged to the former defense minister and said they had decided not to arrest him at the scene due to his high profile.

Hameed questioned police’s decision to arrest Nazim after the completion of investigations, and claimed such an arrest can only be made through a PG order.

Jumhooree Party MP and former Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz accused the police of unprofessionalism and said: “This was clearly done to frame Colonel Nazim.”

Nazim and his wife’s passports have been confiscated.

His arrest appears to be part of a larger crackdown on political rivals by President Abdulla Yameen. The former minister had revealed his presidential aspirations following the raid on January 18.

Nazim was a central figure in former President Mohamed Nasheed’s ouster. He had delivered an ultimatum to Nasheed demanding an unconditional resignation on February 7, 2012.

He has served as Defense Minister for three years now, first under Nasheed’s successor Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

Following Nazim’s dismissal, Nasheed’s former Chief of Defense Forces Moosa Ali Jaleel was appointed as Defense Minister.

Prior to Nazim’s arrest, President Yameen retired Vice Chief of Defense Forces Ahmed Mohamed and appointed Brigadier General Ahmed Shahid to the post.

Changes brought to military ranks in late January include the dismissal of Major Ahmed Faisal and Captain Ibrahim Naeem from the posts of head of the Special Protection Group (SPG) and Head of Armory, respectively.

Lieutenant Colonels Ahmed ‘Papa’ Fayaz and Abdul Rauf were appointed to head the SPG and Armory respectively.


Related to this story

Former Defence Minister Nazim remanded for 15 days

Former Defence Minister arrested on illegal weapons charge

Police raid Defence Minister Nazim’s home in early hours

Nazim dismissed as defence minister, replaced by Moosa Ali Jaleel

Pistol and explosive device found at Nazim’s home, says Police Commissioner


MP involved in illegal drug business is attempting to frame me: Umar Naseer

Additional reporting by Mariyath Mohamed

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential primary candidate Umar Naseer has claimed that an MP involved in the illegal drug business is attempting to “frame” him.

Speaking at a rally on Friday night (March 15), Naseer claimed that the unnamed MP had tried to ruin his reputation by sending police into his offices looking for contraband.

On Saturday night (March 16), Naseer then posted on both his Facebook and Twitter page that someone had tried to frame him “but I was not in the car I was delivering a speech in Miladhoo”.

Asked what Naseer was referring to, a police source told Minivan News today that a bottle of alcohol had been found in a car belonging to Naseer’s wife when searched by police yesterday.

“Last night the driver of the car had parked after there had been some sort of accident caused by someone on the back seat.

“At that time, the driver found a bottle of alcohol within the car and reported it to the police. We took the driver, questioned him and released him,” the source claimed.

Speaking in regard to the alcohol allegedly found in the car, Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed that a bottle had been found and the case was still under investigation.

“We received a report from a driver of a vehicle stating that there was a bottle of alcohol in the car. Police went to the car, searched it and took the vehicle,” Haneef said.

Last week, Naseer had posted on social media that he had received “intel” that an attempt would be made to assassinate his character by planting drugs in one of his offices.

Speaking in front of a giant display of a mosque set up for his campaign on Friday, Naseer said that he did not partake in acts involving illegal drugs.

“A serving parliament member who is involved in the illegal drug business is attempting to frame me.

“He tried to ruin my reputation by sending police to my business offices in the pretence of looking for illegal substances. I do not get involved in such acts,” he claimed.

Despite Naseer’s claims, when Minivan News asked Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef on Tuesday whether police had searched his offices, Haneef denied they had.

“I will not name the MP, I do not need to name him here. He is trying to hide the relations he has with gangs and his involvement in the illegal drug business,” Naseer claimed.

“If I, Umar Naseer, get elected, MPs cannot hide behind their privileges act and run illegal activities. I will take legal action against them,” he added.

Both Umar Naseer and Abdulla Yameen are currently campaigning to win the PPM’s presidential candidate slot for the upcoming presidential elections to be held in September this year.

People say Yameen bathes in mineral water: Umar Naseer

Speaking to crowds at the artificial beach in Male’ on Friday, Naseer claimed that “unlike Yameen” he is an ordinary citizen and not related to former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

In regard to Abdulla Yameen – who is also contending in the PPM presidential primary – Naseer claimed that his fellow contender plays “80 percent in defence”.

“We heard our brother MP [Ahmed] Nihan speaking at Yameen’s campaign rally. All he did was try to denounce what the public says about Yameen.

“Nihan said that although people allege Yameen has ties with gangs and gang violence it is not true. He then said that although people say Yameen even bathes with mineral water, that isn’t true either,” Naseer stated.

In response to the PPM presidential primary candidate’s claims, a spokesperson for Abdulla Yameen’s ‘Yageen’ campaign team told local media on Saturday that Naseer had made slanderous and “blatantly untruthful” statements about Yameen during the rally.

The spokesperson, PPM MP Shifaq Mufeed, said that the purpose of such statements was to damage Yameen’s credibility amongst his supporters.

Umar Naseer was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.


“The driver did it” says Reeko Moosa

MP for Hulhu-Henveiru and MDP parliamentary group leader ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has claimed his driver was bribed to put “cheap alcohol” into his car in an attempt to frame him for the crime.

Last week police arrested four expatriate men loading 168 bottles of whiskey and menthol gin into a car registered to Moosa, on the same day controversial liquor licensing regulations were unveiled by the Ministry of Economic Development.

“My car is not a pickup or a truck,” Moosa said. “Claiming it can fit 168 bottles is unacceptable.”

Moosa was in Singapore when the police arrested the four suspects, including Moosa’s driver.

“I was due to return on the 23rd – the night the incident happened. But that evening I cancelled the flight online because I had to take my wife to the doctors on the 26th. Even my family in Male’ didn’t know that.”

He said he suspected his driver had been “threatened or bribed”, and said the man was no longer in his employ.

Last week DRP Vice President Ibrahim Shareef said he doubted the case “would go very far”, noting that “in the worst case scenario Reeko’s driver will be implicated and that will be the end of the story.”

Moosa however claimed he believed the incident was “politically motivated”, and noted that the television station DhiTV “has been showing the incident non-stop for 24 hours.”

“The last time I was in an advertisement for a liquid was with my brother in a television ad for Sun-Up,” he said, suggesting that he should now be paid royalties for every bottle sold.

“A media channel in this country has used my photo, my car, my family, my children and my name to do business and I want to sue for compensation.”

During his address to an MDP rally on Sunday night, Moosa implied he knew who was responsible for the incident, calling on police to “summon him for an investigation”.

“The country’s economy in the past was in the hands of a few rich businessmen, and they are unhappy that the new government is not giving into their demands,” he said.

“We don’t want this country’s assets in the hands of three or four businessmen.”

Police are currently investigating the incident but have yet to draw any conclusions.