Swords, knives found inside residence of MP Ibrahim Riza

Police have said that two swords and a knife have been discovered in a house in Male’.

Local media has reported that the residence, identified as Crab Tree House, is the home of Guraidhoo Constituency MP, Ibrahim Riza.

Speaking to Minivan News today Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said that the swords and the knife were suspected of having been kept at the house for a significant time, describing their appearance as being rusty and old.

” Two four foot long swords and a knife were found,’’ Haneef confirmed.

Local media today reported that police have strengthened security provided to Riza following the discovery of the sharp weapons.

However, Haneef has told Minivan News that police had always been providing security to MPs.

The discovery of the weapons was revealed at today’s sitting of parliament by MPs Ali Waheed and Ilham Ahmed. The latter said that he lived next door to MP Riza and expressed  concern over the security provided to MPs.


Confiscated swords found fake and flexible, sent to MNDF

Swords confiscated by Maldives Customs Service last Thursday have been reported as fake incapable of causing harm. The swords had been imported by Wushu Federation of Maldives for martial arts training.

Haveeru reports that the swords bend when waved or put in contact with a person. The swords allegedly look real, but are not used as weapons.

An assistant program director told Haveeru that the Chinese Wushu Association had donated the swords along with uniform kits, which were also confiscated.

Customs has released the martial arts uniforms, but sent the swords to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). Customs also told local media that the swords were not imported with forged documents.


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.


Customs intercept shipment of swords believed destined for gangs

A shipment of swords has been intercepted by customs inspectors, who discovered the weapons inside a container imported to the Maldives and originally loaded in China.

A person familiar with the matter told Minivan News that there were more than five swords in the container, and suggested they had been imported by senior political figures in an effort to arm the gangs belonging to one or either political party.

“The swords were not imported by any of the gangs. Rather it was an attempt by a senior political figure of the country to arm the gangs and raise the heat of the situation of Male’,” the source claimed.

“The gang war is ongoing.  If the weapons were imported then they would [be allocated] to one of the senior gang members, and then distributed amongst other members of their gangs.’’

Spokesperson for Maldives Ports Limited (MPL), Hassan Muzni Mohamed, confirmed the swords were discovered during an inspection by customs officers.

“According to our staff, five swords were discovered inside that container,’’ he said.

The ship that carried the container, ‘MOL KOMATI’, was loaded in China and stopped at a port in Singapore prior arriving in the Maldives.

Spokesperson for the Customs Authority Mohamed Ibrahim said that the swords were discovered on Thursday night and had ‘’apparently been produced in China.’’

‘’The swords are double-edged and three feet long,’’ said Ibrahim. ‘’We will hand them to the Defense Ministry after doing the necessary investigations.’’

Ibrahim stated that those responsible “would be charged for importing a contraband material, and attempting to import a material in secrecy. The swords were not mentioned in any of the documents.”

A police media official said the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) would investigate the case.

MNDF Major Abdul Raheem said the defense ministry would have information regarding the swords but that they had not yet been handed over to the MNDF.

State Minister for Defence Muiz Adnan said he had no information regarding the swords, but claimed that “sometimes swords are available to buy at some souvenir shops.”

The Criminal Court has previously released a person arrested and charged for possessing a sword, ruling that the Constitution and laws were silent on the issue as there was no law specifically prohibiting the possession of swords, and therefore there were no grounds to sentence the person.

Last Friday a 17 year-old boy was stabbed to death by a group of people, after watching a football match with friends.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the ship’s owner would be charged. This was a misunderstanding and has been amended pending clarification. Minivan News apologises for any confusion caused.