Case of 25-year-old Russian woman smuggling cocaine sent to Prosecutor General

The case of the Russian woman – arrested after attempting to smuggle 2.5kgs of cocaine into the Maldives – has been sent to the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office.

Purtova Angelina – a 25-year-old Russian national – was arrested on January 27 this year when she arrived in the Maldives from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Deputy Prosecutor General Hussein Shameem has confirmed with Minivan News that police have finished their investigation, and that the case was forwarded to the PG last Thursday (April 3). Shameem estimated that the court hearing will take place within the next week.

“We don’t know yet what the decision will be, we will have to wait until the court hearing next week.” Shameem told Minivan.

Purtova, a makeup artist, allegedly has a history of distributing cocaine to a number of countries and has associations with a large drug trafficking network in Europe, according to Haveeru.

According to the reports, Angelina had been reported missing by her family when she arrived in the Maldives. Family members and friends had used social media networks to try and find her.

On January 26 2014, the Criminal Court ruled that Philippines national Jenerosa Pancho Mapula was guilty of smuggling 3 kgs of cocaine into the Maldives, and fining her MVR100,000 (USD 6510) and sentencing her to life imprisonment.

The Criminal Court ruling stated that, on April 24, 2013, Jenerosa arrived in the Maldives at about 8:50am and that police searched her luggage after receiving intelligence reports that she was carrying illegal narcotics.

Jenerosa denied the charges, the court said, though according to witnesses produced in court the drugs were found inside her luggage. Jenerosa was ordered to pay the fine within one month.

The Law on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances stipulates that a foreign national charged with importing over 1 gram of narcotics will be sentenced to life imprisonment. There is also a possibility of received a minimum fine of MVR10,000 (US$651).


Man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for importing 0.8 grams of Xanax

A Maldivian man has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a MVR 50,000 (US$3,217) fine for importing less than one gram of a widely prescribed anti-anxiety drug.

Shafeeq Ibrahim of Seeni Hithadhoo, Soama was sentenced by the Criminal Court after confessing to importing drugs into the Maldives after arriving in Male on flight on October 7, 2012, local media reported.

A test of the substance that was carried into the country in two packets revealed it to contain 0.8314 grams of the commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drug Alprazolam, also known as Xanax.

Director Department of Judicial Administration Ahmed Maajid told Minivan News on Monday (March 11) that Shafeeq had not been caught with any substance other than Alprazolam.

“It is a pharmaceutical drug, but it is included in Schedule 2 of the Narcotics Act, and it is, by virtue of the act, an offence to import it [Alprazolam] unless it is by a licensed pharmacy,” Maajid said.

Despite the Xanax being the most popular psychiatric drug in the United States – according to American publication Forbes – Australian media reported the pharmaceutical drug to be as “addictive as heroin and harder to stop using”.

Criminal Court has ordered Shafeeq to pay the MVR 50,000 within a period of one month, according to local media.

Death penalty for illegal drug smuggling: NDA

In February, National Drug Agency (NDA) Chairperson Lubna Zahir called for the death penalty for those found to be importing illegal narcotics into the Maldives.

Speaking on state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM), Lubna claimed that drug importation needed to be in the same category as murder.

“We can only prevent drugs from coming into the Maldives by implementing the death penalty against them. Importing drugs is not a less serious crime.

”One solution to this is to implement the death penalty against those who bring in drugs and commit murder,” Lubna said.

Lubna requested parliament include the death penalty as the most severe punishment for drug smugglers when passing relevant laws.