A well-known flower shop on Sosun Magu, Cactus, was robbed last night by a group of intruders who threatened staff with knives and box cutters.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said a group of men entered the shop last night at 11:30pm and
Shiyam said that one man had been arrested in connection with the robbery, and the case continued to be under investigation.
A witness to the incident, who later spoke with the staff, told Minivan News that three men entered the flower shop around and threatened the staffs with knife and cutters, and stole Rf35,000 (US$2700).
”I was passing by and noticed that the lights of that shop were off,” he said. ”They never switched off the lights so early.”
He said two Maldivian staff were inside the shop when three men entered.
”They entered the shop, switched off the lights and locked the shop,” he said. ”They punched one staff member’s eye and nose and grabbed another’s necklace and both their mobile phones.”
He said that the group went upstairs where the money was stored and opened the locker by damaging it.
”There was a security guard outside who was afraid to call the cops,” the witness noted.
In a highly-publicised special operation intended to reduce gang crime in the capital Male’, police arrested 22 men suspected of being key players in gang violence.
Police sub inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the men were arrested in different areas of Male’ are were notable “gangsters” involved in gang violence.
Shiyam also said police had collected chairs, sofas and weapons from places where gangs lived, to stop gang members congregating, storing them in the police tow yard.
He said the special operation to protect Male’ from gang violence would not to be stopped until the city became a peaceful place.
Meanwhile, a group of NGOs including the Maldivian Detainee Network, Transparency Maldives, Rights for All, Strength of Society, Maldives Aid, Madulu, Democracy house and NGO Federation released a statement condemning the recent rise in gang violence in Male’.
The NGO’s reported that police statistics show that during last year there were 12 murder cases reported to police and 11 of them were sent to Prosecutor General’s office.
The NGOs called on the president and parliament to pass the necessary bills as soon as possible to avoid gang violence.
They furthermore called on the government institutions concerned with gang crime to fulfill their responsibilities.