Police have submitted the cases of seven individuals, including two opposition-aligned MPs, to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) after they were arrested on the island of Hondaidhoo last November on suspicion of possessing drugs and alcohol.
A total of 10 people were taken into police custody on November 16 after police raided and searched Hondaidhoo with a court warrant. Officers alleged they found large amounts of “suspected” drugs and alcohol upon searching the island.
Seven of the suspects, including Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs Hamid Abdul Ghafoor and Abdulla Jabir – a member of the government-aligned Jumhoree Party (JP) at the time of his arrest – are among those whose cases have been forwarded to the PGO this month.
Police confirmed that cases had also been submitted against former SAARC Secretary General and Special Envoy to the former President, Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, former President’s Office Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair and his wife Mariyam Faiz. Jadhulla Jaleel and Hamdan Zaki also face charges.
Two Sri Lankan nationals named Raj Mohan and Anoor Bandaranayk as well as a Bangladeshi named Suhail Rana were taken into custody following the island raid. Their cases have not been filed at the PGO.
Police Sub-Inspector and Media Official Hassan Hannef said at the time of the arrests that officers requested all suspects taken into custody on Hondaidhoo to provide urine samples for a routine examination. However, only Hamdhaan Zaki and the three foreign suspects complied with the request.
According to the Drug Act, Sections 123(a), 161(a) and 161(b), any person arrested on suspicion of having abused alcohol or narcotics has an obligation to comply with police requests for routine urine examination by promptly providing urine samples, and failure to comply is a criminal offence punishable with a one-year jail sentence.
Police previously submitted cases against “some” of the ten people arrested during the raid on Hondaidhoo to the PGO in January this year.
However, the case was returned after the investigation was deemed to have been incomplete, according to Sun Online.
The MDP has maintained that the arrests were a politically-motivated attempt to disrupt parliament ahead of a no confidence motion against President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, and a proposed amendment to voting procedure to allow such a vote to be held in secret.
In April this year, Parliament’s General Purpose Committee rejected procedural amendments to allow secret voting for no confidence motions, such as one previously scheduled to be heard against President Waheed.