Police fire head of Drug Enforcement Department

Former Head of the Police Drug Enforcement Department (DED), Mohamed Jinah, was relieved of police duty last Thursday January 10.

Speaking to Minivan News, Jinah said police had called him and informed him that he had been dismissed from police.

‘’They did not tell me why the decision was made, but they said they will send me documents containing information as to why I have been dismissed,’’ Jinah said. ‘’I don’t have much to say before I get the documents.’’

Jinah said he has not yet decided to file the matter in court.

‘’I will make a decision after I receive the documents clarifying why I was dismissed,’’ he added.

After the controversial transfer of power in February, Jinah was demoted to Chief Inspector of Police from his position as Police Chief Superintendent.

Jinah was the Head of the Drug Enforce Department (DED), but following February 7 was changed to the police planning department.

Jinah, former Chief Superintendent ‘MC’ Mohamed Hameed, former Superintendent Ibrahim Adnan Anees and Superintendent ‘Lady’ Ibrahim Manik were among a few senior officer who did not join a police revolt against the government on February 7, that led to the resignation of then President Mohamed Nasheed.

With the dismissal of Jinah, almost all senior police officers who did not take to the streets demanding Nasheed’s resignation on February 7 have now been dismissed.

On August 8 last year, the Police Disciplinary Board decided to relieve Chief Superintendent ‘MC’ Mohamed Hameed and Superintendent Ibrahim Adnan of duty.

Superintendent ‘Lady’ Ibrahim Manik was also demoted to Chief Inspector of Police, and the disciplinary badge on his uniform was removed.

Adhnan Anees, Ibrahim Manik and Mohamed Jinah were among senior officers allegedly assaulted by ordinary officers on February 7.

Video footage available on Youtube shows the former head of the Drug Enforcement Departmen being handcuffed and taken to the detention island Dhoonidhoo on the morning of February 7.

On June 14, police arrested Chief Superintendent Hameed following his contribution to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s report into the controversial transfer of power on February 7.

According to the MDP’s report, the attacks were carried out by police officers outside police headquarters on the instructions of Police Superintendent Abdulla Nawaz and Sub-Inspector Azeem Waheed.

The report stated that Corporal Ahmed Vikram ‘Viki’ hit Superintendent Anees with a wooden chair in the back, and struck Anees in the genitals with his leg.

Anees was then taken upstairs to the third floor of police headquarters and locked inside the DED’s storage room, along with Deputy Commissioner Ismail Atheef and Superintendent Ibrahim Manik, the report claimed.

According to the report, mutinying police officers subsequently broke open the door of the storage room and again attacked the three senior officers, before taking them downstairs.


Civil Court rules in favour of former Police Superintendent Jinah in Gassan Maumoon suit

The Civil Court has ruled that the court was unclear of the role former Police Superintendent and head of the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) had played in obstructing the basic rights of Gassan Maumoon, following his arrest last year on suspicion of dropping a wooden plank from a six story building into a crowed of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters.

Gassan Maumoon, son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, filed the suit against Jinah after police arrested him on allegations that he had dropped the wooden plank into the MDP supporters, striking the head of a 17 year-old boy.

Police at the time said that the victim, Hussein Hassan of Thinadhoo in Gaaf Dhaal, had to undergo brain surgery to repair damage to his skull.

Civil Court Judge Aisha Shujoon ruled that the Police Integrity Commission (PIC), the oversight body of the police, had told the court that the case was lodged at the commission and that it had decided that Jianh did not have to take responsibility for Gassan’s arrest.

Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed at the time ruled that his arrest was unlawful and ordered his immediate release, despite early evidence being produced to the court supporting police claims.

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) had recently competed a report on Abdulla Mohamed detailing the judge’s misconduct, notably politically-biased comments given to opposition-aligned private broadcaster DhiTV. This would later lead to his detention by the military, opposition protests and ultimately the toppling of the Nasheed administration in a police and military mutiny on February 7 this year.

In his counter suit filed in the Civil Court, Gassan contended that the Criminal Court had ruled that the arrest was unlawful and requested the court make Jinah take responsibility for his unlawful arrest, and pay him compensation.

At a press briefing at the time, Superintendent Jinah said police wished to “reveal the truth” about the incident as “deliberately false allegations have been made against police using the media” to bring the institution into disrepute, and “relentless attempts” had been made to cast aspersions on police and its senior officers by members of the then-opposition.

Police at the time exhibited video footage of a wooden pole thrown from above injuring the 17 year-old during the MDP protest against judicial corruption, which took place outside former President Gayoom’s residence, Maafanu Endherimaage.


Gassan Maumoon sues Police Chief Superintendent Jinah for unlawful arrest

Gassan Maumoon, son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has filed a case at the Civil Court against Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Jinah, claiming that Gassan was unlawfully arrested on his order.

Gassan’s lawyer Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim ‘Wadde’ confirmed that the case was filed yesterday.

Gassan was arrested last month on allegations that he hurled a wooden plank at protesters from his balcony on October 20. A 17 year-old was critically injured after the plank struck him on the head, resulting in skull fractures and paralysis down his left side.

Waheed told local media this week that Jinah’s order to arrest Gassan was unconstitutional and violated provisions of the police act. The Civil Court was requested to determine that Jinah’s order was unlawful.

Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed had ruled that Gassan’s arrest was unlawful and ordered his immediate release.

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has recently competed a report on Abdulla Mohamed detailing the judge’s misconduct, notably politically-biased comments given to opposition-aligned private broadcaster DhiTV.

Contacted for a comment today, Chief Superintended Jinah referred Minivan News to Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam.

Shiyam said police did not wish to comment on a case involving the arrest of a specific individual.

“Besides, the police have not been officially informed of this case,” he added.

Following his release by the Criminal Court, Jinah held a press conference and exhibited video footage of the plank hitting the 17 year-old.

Jinah had said at the press conference on October 16 that police wished to “reveal the truth” about the incident as “deliberately false allegations have been made against police using the media” to bring the institution into disrepute and cast aspersions on senior officers.

Police decided to reveal the video footage to the public because “many people have been using different media to claim that [the incident] never happened and make serious allegations against police,” Jinah had said.

He told the media that the court was now requested to determine that Jinah personally has the responsible to his orders.

When Gassan was arrested, former Attorney General Azima Shukoor and Waheed both went to the Criminal Court and filed a case against police claiming that the arrest was unlawful and to order immediate release of Gassan, to which court the court agreed and ordered immediate release of Gassan.

When Minivan News contacted Jinah for a comment he referred Minivan News to Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam.

Shiyam said that police have been arresting different persons to investigate cases presented to the police and that police would not like to comment on a specific person’s case.

‘’Besides, the police have not been officially informed of this case,’’ he added.

After the incident police met with the press and viewed video footage captured near Aliwaage when the wooden plank was dropped.

Opposition that time said that the wooden plank did not come from Aliwaage and insisted that it was thrown at Aliwaage from the ground.


Police arrest suspected drug kingpin after months of investigations

Police have arrested an individual suspected of being one of the Maldives’ most high-profile drug dealers after spending several months collecting information about his procedures for importing narcotics into the country.

The Head of the police’s Drug Enforcement Department (DED), Superintendent Mohamed Jinah, told members of the press that the alleged drug lord was arrested Friday (June 24), along with several companions also suspected of involvement in supplying drugs.

Jinah identified the suspected dealer as Ibrahim ‘Shafa’ Shafaz, 30, of Lonumidhi in Maafannu ward.

Details of three of his companions – also suspected of involvement in the drug ring – were also revealed. Jinah identified them as Ismail Shameem, 30, of Thaa Atoll Thimarafushi, Hussein Atheek, 27, of Fehi in Maafannu ward and Hussein Athif, 25, of Kudhehige in Maafannu ward.

Jinah claimed that Shafaz has been suspected of importing drugs to the Maldives since 2005, with police having since labelled him as one of the country’s most high profile drug traffickers.

About 896 grams of illegal drugs were said to have been discovered inside his apartment following a police raid of the premises on Friday.  The apartment, which was rented in a building belonging to MP ‘Redwave’ Ahmed Saleem, contained a number of tools that could be used to pack drugs, while powdered narcotics were also found.

According to police, Ismail Shameem’s alleged role in the network was to distribute the drugs in small packets – originally bought in kilograms -while Hussein Atheek is suspected of transferring money to the network in Sri Lanka.

Hussein Athif is suspected by police of playing the most important role in the whole network by communicating with an agent in Sri Lanka in order to safely traffic drugs to the Maldives.

Jinah said the traffickers have been using an authorised money exchange company called A J Amporium to send funds to Sri Lanka, while another company named MC Galleria is alleged to have been receiving the money.

The drugs are believed to have been imported via Sri Lankan Airlines, though Jinah said these three companies were not suspected of being knowingly involved in the drug trafficking.

He said between February to April of this year, Rf1.3 million of drugs were trafficked in to the Maldives by this network.

Jinah claimed Shafaz had last year bought a shop named ‘Charm’ for Rf150,000 (US$9700) that was sold this month for Rf200,000.

Shafaz is also believed to rent three apartments in Male’, with one property having been rented for 21 years for Rf300,000.

He also owns a tailor shop which he bought for Rf200,000 (US$13,000) for 15 years, a shop in Kaafu Atoll Maafushi, a Suzuki Swift car for Rf180,000 (US$11,673), later sold for Rf170,000.

Jinah said a special DED operation to try and seize the suspect began in 2009 with significant cooperation from the Prosecutor General and Criminal Court.

Speaking from his office this morning, President Mohamed Nasheed said that police were now looking to investigate the exact methods of money transfer thought to have been used by the alleged drug dealers.

Nasheed claimed this morning that even if the investigation ended up being linked to his mother and father, he would not step back in fulfilling his pledge to clamp down on the drug trade.


Two men arrested with three kilograms of drugs worth Rf1.7 million

Police have arrested two Maldivians with three kilograms of illegal narcotics during a special operation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED).

Speaking at a press conference held today at the Iskandar building, DED Superintendent Mohamed Jinah said that the police were able to seize the drugs before they had been circulated across the country, and that this was a great success for the police and government.

Jinah identified the two persons arrested as Hussein Sobah, 27, of Maduvvari in Raa Atoll and Mohamed Aswad, 29, of Nadella in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Police said the street value of these drugs would be Rf1.7 million (US$110,000) approximately.

The two men were arrested near the UN building in the Galolhu district on Male’, following intelligence reports, police said.

The Drug Enforcement squad searched a private office owned by the pair and found the three kilograms of drugs inside.

Furthermore, Jinah told the press that the drugs were imported with the assistance of a cargo vessel.

‘’The vessel drops these things into the sea into an area determined by them,’’ Jinah said. ‘’They went to the location on a dingy and picked it up and brought it to Male.’’


Police arrested 1153 people on drug charges in 2010, show police statistics

Maldives police arrested1153 persons on drug charges in 2010, according to statistics released by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED), a reduction on the 1834 arrests made in 2009.

Police statistics showed that in 2009, 19 persons accused of dealing illegal narcotics on a large scale were arrested, with  10 of the 19 cases were sent to the courts to for trial.

In 2010, 48 ‘large scale’ dealers were arrested and 33 cases were investigated, while 25 of the cases were sent to Prosecutor General’s office.

In additional, during 2010 police seized 3.3 kilograms of heroin, 5.5 kilograms of cannabis and 790 bottles of alcohol, a total street value police claimed was Rf11.2 Million (US$870,000).

Head of DED,Police Superintendent Mohamed Jinah, said that police had reduced the spread of drugs by 50 percent during the last two years.

Last year 7218 persons were searched while 175 police special operations were conducted in Male’. 95 operations were conducted in the islands.


Police seize drugs worth Rf2 million (US$155,600)

The Maldives Police Service Drug Enforcement Department (DED) have seized 1.6 kilogram of suspected narcotics from a house in the Maafannu district of Male’.

Head of DED, Superintendent Mohamed Jinah, said the drugs were discovered last Friday when the police raided the house after receiving a tip off.

“There is no connection with the drugs and the people of the house,” said Jinah. “We are now investigating the matter to find the people connected with the case.”

Jinah said the drugs were caught with ‘raw packaging’, as it had been imported.

He said during the last two months drugs worth more than Rf2.5 million drugs were seized, and 40 people arrested in connection with the various cases.

On September 6, police revealed they had uncovered a new drug network operating inside the country, and discovered drugs worth of half a million rufiya.

The drugs were discovered inside a leased apartment in Male’. Four people were arrested in connection with the case.


Police arrest “top drug dealer” in Laamu Atoll

Police have arrested and identified a man they allege is “the top drug dealer in Laamu Atoll”, during a press conference called by  Head of the Police Drug Enforcement Department (DED), Superintendent Ahmed Jinah.

Jinah identified the man as Hassan Yousuf, 26 of Mathimaradhoo in Laamu Atoll.

“Police and society have recognised him as the top dealer in Laamu Atoll, and he has now been caught for the second time,’’ said Jinah. “A recent case involving him is in trial, and he was again caught with suspected narcotics.”

Jinah said Yousuf was in police custody and the court had granted an extension of his detention to 10 days.

“The atolls are lately being used by the drug traffickers for transportation and establishing hideouts,’’ Jinah said. ‘’We have conducted special operations in the islands to curb the number of users and dealers, which is hard and challenging due to the low numbers of police officers in the atolls and large areas [to cover].’’

Jinah said police had observed that Addu Atoll, Laamu Atoll and Noonu Atoll were being used by dealers and users for transportation of drugs and the construction of  hideouts.

“We do not consider it a failure of police when the courts declare that charged persons cannot be convicted due to lack of evidence,’’ he remarked. “Sometimes when we appeal to the higher courts they invalidate the lower court’s verdict after considering the evidence presented as adequate.’’

Jinah said that police only accept an investigation as failed “when the highest authority in justice declares that the charged person cannot be convicted due to lack of evidence.”

“Police do not have the authority to criticise a court’s decision,’’ he added.

He also noted that although this was the holy month of Ramadan, drug-related crime had not decreased.


“Not long” before police arrest remaining four top dealers, says police drugs chief

The head of the police drug enforcement unit Mohamed Jinah has claimed “it won’t be long” before police arrest the remaining four of the top six drug dealers identified by President Mohamed Nasheed.

“Two of the top six drug dealers have been arrested. We will arrest the remaining four as soon as possible,” he promised.

“They are not difficult to catch, but we want to catch them with a lot of proof and evidence. That is why it is taking so long.”

Jinah said that instead of focusing on capturing street level drug dealers, police had this year tried to target the higher levels and block the problem from the top.

”Hopefully, this year we will also arrest many smugglers and drug dealers,” he added.

Police also revealed today that they had pursued 2363 drugs-related cases in 2009, 1038 of which were sent to the prosecutor general’s office.

Police also conducted 200 “special operations to capture drug dealers in Male, ” Jinah revealed.

Last year police also seized 11.5 kilograms of drugs, including heroine, cannabis and benzodiazepine.

That haul meant the number of new drug users had been reduced by 43 per cent compared to previous years, Jinah said, citing a police survey.

Meanwhile, the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Service (DPRS) recently caused controversy by transferring 87 inmates to house arrest, many of whom were drug offenders caught in possession of less than three grams of narcotic.

The DPRS said seven of them had been returned to jail because of bad behaviour “and not following the rules we applied to them.”‘