Police retrieve MVR 100,000 stolen by office assistant

Police on Wednesday arrested an employee of Global Link Pvt Ltd with over MVR 100,000 (US$6,485) stolen from the company.

According to police media, MVR99,895 was recovered during the arrest of Mohamed Muad, 36, of Seenu Meedhoo Seasunwaadhee.

The money was entrusted to Muad, an office assistant at Global Link, to be deposited at the Mauritius Commercial Bank. Police were alerted to the theft by the company.

The suspect’s detention has since been extended to 15 days by the Criminal Court.

At a press briefing on Thursday, Inspector Ahmed Shaheeth revealed that the stolen cash was found in a bag stashed inside a lift compartment at a house under construction in the Henveiru district of Male’.


Police recover Randheli Resort safe containing US$50000 and Rf100,000

Police have recovered the safe of Randheli Island Resort along with the money inside, 19 hours after it was reported missing.

The safe contained US$50,000 and Rf100,000 (US$6500) when it was stolen.

The safe was reported missing yesterday morning at 9:00am and 10 minutes later a team of police officers consisting of forensic officers and investigative officers were dispatched to the island, police said.

According to police the safe was found hidden inside some woods on the island at 4:30am early this morning.

Police said crimes of this type had increased lately, and said the Police Public Affairs Department had been having meetings with businessman to advise them on strengthening security of their businesses.

Police are trying to find those involved in the case as the investigation continues.

Randheli Resort is a resort under construction located in Noonu Atoll – a resort developed by the French company LVMH Moët Hennessy, according to local newspapers.

Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef today said that one man had been arrested in connection with the case.

‘’Police have figured out three others involved in the case and are currently trying to arrest them,’’ Haneef said.

Haneef said police could not disclose further information at the time as the investigation was not yet concluded.


Police recover electronics stolen from Irin Enterprises offices

Police have recovered a laptop and other electronic items stolen from Irin Enterprises Office and returned them to the owner.

Police said the items were discovered inside the house of a minor, already in police custody, following a police search of his house.

The minor was arrested on April 23 for alleged involvement in a different case, police said.

A police investigation revealed that another minor involved in the robbery of Irin Enterprises was also in police custody, arrested in connection with a different case on April 25.

According to statistics released to the media by the Home Ministry’s Juvenile Justice Unit, 155 offences committed by minors have been filed this year.

Most of the cases involving male juveniles were related to drugs, theft, sex, assault and vandalism, while most of the cases concerning females related to alcohol, creating unrest in an unlawful gathering, and theft, according to the Juvenile Justice Unit.

The unit also noted that 68 percent of minors who committed felonies are children who do not attend to school. The most number of crimes were committed by children between the ages of 16-18.

Factors leading to the involvement of children in criminal activities included the “negative influence of the media”, adults luring them into a criminal environment, and having parents who were criminals, the report noted. and

According to police statistics for the month of May, 58 cases of theft, five cases of robbery, five cases of assault and 18 cases of drugs have been reported.


Police arrests suspected thief who stole Rf100,000 products from a shop

Police have arrested a man suspected of stealing Rf100,000 (US$6500) worth of products from a shop near South West harbor area, according to police.

The man is allegedly stole four cases of Camel Lights cigarettes, 35 cartons of Kent brand cigarettes, 45 cartons of Benson cigarettes, 120 mobile phone recharge cards worth Rf100 each and 100 Rf50 recharge cards, and a number of cans of Red Bull.

Police have not disclosed the name of the person, said he was a 24 year-old male who was arrested while he was trying to sell the cigarettes.

Police said 25 cartons of cigarettes had been recovered. The theft was reported to police earlier last month.

Recently police arrested two people accused of a series of robberies in which holes were cut in the roofs of the target premises, mostly shops in Male’.

The arrests followed a series of robberies from April 7-15 in which shops were robbed at night, with the burglars entering through holes cut in the ceilings of the stores.

Police recovered Rf498,000 (US$33,200) worth of stolen items and money, and Rf 37,000 (US$2466) and Rf50,000 (US$3333) worth of stolen jewelry following the arrests.

According to police statistics, 700 cases of theft, 127 cases of assault, 84 cases of robbery, 275 cases related to drugs, 166 cases of traffic violation, 57 cases of sexual offense, 18 cases of domestic violence, 13 cases of counterfeit and forgery, 71 cases of vandalism, 22 cases of check bounce and 28 cases of embezzlement were filed at police in the month of April.

So far in May police have received two cases of assault, 22 cases of theft, one case of robbery, five cases related to drugs, 12 cases of traffic violation, one case of vandalism and one case of embezzlement.


Local market patched with personal alliances

Compared to markets in many developing countries, Male’s fruit and vegetable market appears tranquil. Visitors aren’t hassled, and the pathways are fairly clean. Nearly each stall presents banana bunches, coconuts young and mature, and bundles of various leaves alongside giant papayas and modest mangoes. A few sport coconut oils and juices for skin, hair and cooking, as well as containers of Maldivian spice mix and a salty fish sauce.

While the market is the shopkeeper’s source for local goods, the rules of competition are personal. “Business depends on your friends–both shopkeepers and customers,” said one vendor. Pointing out the homogeneity of goods available, he explained, “We compete by making sure we have what the other guy has. We don’t lower the price.”

While business is alright, the annual holiday season (October – December) brings a dismal combination–low supply and low demand. In spite of their personal connections, most vendors note that business hovers between “alright” and “bad.”

During the holidays many locals leave the country, and island-based suppliers make fewer trips to Male’. One man said the price of a coconut, one of the Maldives’ most common products, has dropped from Rf5 (US$0.30) to Rf2 (US$0.13). Bananas sell for Rf1 (US$0.06) apiece, versus the shop rate of Rf3 (US$0.9). He adds that most tourists who stop in don’t buy.

Seasonal market trends are a nuisance for vendors, but their complaints mostly lie with the changes imposed on the market system by the Male’ City Council, then Male’ Municipality.

Renovations earlier this year transformed the former sprawl to a plot of concrete squares delineating 176 stalls, available by lottery for three-month periods only at Rf750 (US$49) per month.

Many vendors said they were uninformed of the changes and simply asked to evacuate. Protests against the order were unproductive, and vendors claim the new arrangement has hurt their business as well as their pride.

“People who had worked here for years weren’t given an advantage in the lottery,” said Ahmed Zakariya. “It’s only by chance that they can sell goods, and for three months only.”

Zakariya said the situation had led some vendors to lease out their stalls at a profit.

“Some guys have families, and their whole life is based on this business,” he explained. “They try to lease a stall from someone else so they can sell for longer, but they’re not too happy with the set up.”

Vendors have also turned to their own resources to fix physical flaws.

Although the Municipality provided white tarp covers for the stalls, the sandy pathways were unprotected and rain often splashed into the stall areas, coating products in wet silt. One vendor explained that the blue and patched sheets now draping over the walkways were raised by the men themselves, in the interest of protecting business.

Noting the prevalence of unstable and crumble-prone styrofoam surfaces, Minivan News asked a vendor why the stalls were built out of such impermanent material.

“People don’t invest in improving their stalls because they only have them for three months,” said one man. “Even if you win the next lottery, you may move across the market. So we use re-usable materials that are easy to move.”

Gesturing to his approximately four foot by seven-foot stall, Zakariya added that the restricted stall spaces hurt business prospects.

“Sometimes we can’t keep enough produce in the given space, so we can’t sell as much.”

He said some vendors partner with their neighbors to expand storage and sales, paying a fee or entering into partnership as friends.

Mohamed Manik of Gaaf Alif Atoll believes he is one of the few vendors currently selling solo. He said he makes a monthly minimum of Rf10,000 (US$649), but believes the joint operations make a much higher profit. “They are my big competitors, the ones who have partnered,” he noted, looking around. “But I usually can’t compete, so I just try to make a satisfactory living.”

In spite of the delicate competition for social-professional connections, Manik said people are friendly. But he pointed out that they share a common antagonist: night burglars.

“Theft is a big problem,” said one older man.

Without a security guard or market gate, he said, the market is hard to defend. Pranksters most often steal banana bunches, however he said some coins he had had the day before had disappeared overnight.

“Sometimes the guys who stay here overnight catch the thieves and beat them, and hand them over to the police. But they are soon released, and come back the next day to hassle us,” he said.

“Security needs to be better, the city council should take responsibility. It’s very, very, very very sad,” he concluded.


Daylight robbery increasing, warns Chief Inspector

Theft and robbery are crimes increasingly conducted  in daylight, said Police Chief Inspector Mohamed Jamsheed, Head of Property and Commercial Crime, during a press conference today.

Many of these crimes were committed by professional thieves known to police, he explained, including many who had been convicted and imprisoned, but had escaped from custody.

“The release of some convicted people is also a very dangerous issue for society,’’ Jamsheed said.

“Last week some people broke in to the IBS office and damaged the doors, drawers and other office property, and stole jewelry, three mobile phones and Rf 71,350 (US$5500),” he noted, adding that police had already arrested a man, Mohamed Mujthaba, in connection with the case.

‘’He was a fugitive who escaped from jail, after he was convicted in drug related case and brought to Male’ for medical treatment,’’ Jamsheed said. “He was arrested on Makunudhoo in Thaa Atoll.’’

Jamsheed said that police had discovered “a lot of items believed to be stolen” in his house, while other stolen items were believed to have been already sold to other people.

Jamsheed also disclosed information about forged dollar notes discovered in a house in Male’.

‘’Police discovered US$248,300 in forged notes inside Mahchangolhi Kuhlhafilaage,’’ he said. ‘’All the notes were printed with one serial number.’’

He said an elderly man, Hussein Ali, had been arrested in connection with the case.

‘’This person was already been arrested by police on charges in different cases,’’ he said.

Jamsheed appealed for any person with information on the cases to notify police, and urged people to prevent strangers from entering houses if they claimed to be searching for someone.


Rf 126,000 stolen from power station

The power station at Gaaf Dhaalu Madaveli was broken into last night and Rf 126,000 was stolen, reports Miadhu.

The island councillor Faarish Muneeru said the money was stolen from the station’s safe at around midnight last night. He also said there was a person on duty in the control room at the time.

Police said the matter is being investigated but so far no one has been arrested in relation to the theft.