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.
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.