High Court upholds decision to fine man MVR 50,000 for porn possession

The High Court has upheld a decision by the Criminal Court to fine a man MVR 50,000 (US$3242) for possessing pornographic materials.

The man was identified by the High Court as Ahmed Anwar of Foakiadhoo in Shaviyani Atoll.

The ruling said that according to the Criminal Court ruling, the pornographic materials were discovered inside a laptop bag in Ahmed Anwar’s house when police searched the residence, after he was accused of cashing MVR 600,000 (US$38,910) out of Lily Shipping and Trading Private Limited’s account at the Bank of Maldives (BML) using a fraudulent bank note.

The High Court back the Criminal Court ruling stating that there were 22 DVDs, one CD and one pen drive containing 227 pornographic video and eight pictures.

In the statement Anwar gave to police he confessed that the pen drive belonged to him but denied that the DVDs and CDs were his.

However, the High Court ruled that the things were discovered inside Ahmed Anwar’s house and that since no one else had claimed those materials, Anwar had to take responsibility for them.

The Court also said that the files on the pen drive were created and modified before the police searched his house on September 1, 2010.

The High Court endorsed the lower court’s ruling that found Anwar guilty of violating Act number 4/75 List of Contraband’s article 4[c] and article 13[d].

The court ruled that there was no lawful reason to change the lower court’s ruling on the matter.

The appeal case was filed at the High Court last year in November and was concluded last Wednesday.


Woman sentenced to one year for possession of 90 bottles of alcohol

The Criminal Court has sentenced a woman to one year in prison after she was arrested in 2009 with 90 bottles of vodka. Alcohol is banned on inhabited islands in the Maldives.

The court identified the woman as Niuma Abdulhannan of Maamigili in South Ari Atoll.

On May 12 in 2009, police were informed that illegal narcotics were being traded inside the Kerinlight house in the Maafannu ward of Male’. Police attended the house and searched the room in which Niuma was living, the Criminal Court said.

The Criminal Court said that during the search, police discovered 90 bottles of vodka hidden in different places around the room.

The court said that the bottles were confiscated and tested positive for alcohol. Niuma was not able to convince the court that the alcohol bottles were legally imported and possessed according to the Trade Ministry’s regulations on importing alcohol.

The Criminal Court said the judge found her guilty of importing an item on the list of contraband. As it was the first time she was found guilty of such a crime, she was sentenced to one year imprisonment.

Alcohol is not mentioned in the current Drug Act, and the only Act that currently prohibits alcohol is the Import-Export Act.