Addu drug bust: 14 suspects and 98kg drugs siezed so far

Drug bust Addu City
During the special drug operation conducted in Addu City. | Photo: Police

Addu City, Maldives — Maldives Police Service has arrested 14 individuals and has seized 98kg of drugs to date, in the major drug operation currently ongoing in the southernmost atoll of Maldives, Addu City.

Police started the operation to seize illegal drugs brought into the city on October 01, in a joint effort by Drug Enforcement Department (DED), Marine Police and Special Operation officers from the South Police Division. During the operation, the police have seized approximately 98.6 kilograms of drugs, including MDMA, amphetamines and heroin up to date.

According to information provided by the police intelligence, 33-year-old Abdulla Ibrahim had plans to smuggle a large amount of illegal narcotics via sea route. Although, Abdullah Ibrahim has a criminal record of smuggling drugs along with other convictions, he was released by the Criminal Court on September 30, 2019, even after the state had pressed drug trafficking charges against him. A major sentence was never given to Abdullah Ibrahim for his crimes.

While the Magistrate Court of Hithadhoo has remanded Abdullah Ibrahim until the end of the trial, the court has also remanded his aide, Mohamed Yameen Naseer, age 23. The remaining 12 suspects will be remanded in custody for five additional days as per the court order, revealed police. All of the 14 individual taken into custody regarding the special drug operation are of the age between 23 and 40.

While authorities are inspecting different areas of Addu City following the ongoing operation, police disclosed that they have revealed the information they discovered during the operation to international parties to find any connections to foreign sources.

This comes following the news which broke out on Sunday morning about USD 1 billion worth of drugs being seized in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives, which is the coastal and marine area under the jurisdiction of the country. According to Pakistani news source ‘BOL’ the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) of Pakistan seized the drugs from a sea vessel in the area where the Maldivian and Arabian waters meet. However, authorities are yet to make an official connection of the two cases.