Seized swords imported under company name of “prominent businessman”: Customs

Swords seized recently by the Maldives Customs Services were imported to the Maldives in a shipment under the name of a company belonging to a “prominent” businessman, according spokesperson of the Maldives Customs Services, Mohamed Ibrahim.

Ibrahim however declined to reveal the name of the person or the company, “as the investigation of the case is ongoing.’’

The stun weapon intercepted at the airport

A shipment of swords and 260 toy guns were intercepted by customs inspectors in July. The inspectors discovered the weapons inside a container imported to the Maldives that was originally loaded in China.

Photos of the guns released by Customs identified them as realistic-looking ‘Airsoft’ guns, which fire small, hard plastic pellets and can be purchased from toy shops in places such as Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

“The toy guns and the swords were both found in two containers imported by one cargo ship,’’ said Ibrahim. “But they were cleared by the customs individually so [the guns] were found on a later occasion.’’

Maldives Customs Services yesterday seized black masks and a high-voltage Chinese-made electric stun gun. Such weapons inflict pain and momentary paralysis when the two probes are applied directly to the target.

One of the intercepted pellet guns

“The stun gun was found inside the baggage of a 22 year-old Maldivian who arrived from Colombo on flight UL107. Four black face masks were also found with him,’’ Ibrahim said.

One of the masks found in a passenger's luggage

“Another five black masks were found with a 25 year-old Maldivian who arrived with him. They have both now been handed over to police.’’

Aside from their luggage Ibrahim said the two men “looked decent” and appeared generally unremarkable.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the two men remained in police custody but would not give any more details of the case.