Court releases all suspects arrested in recent Male’ city drug bust

Police officers seen during an operation conducted as part of the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances investigation of the missing journalist Ahmed Rizwan in September 2019 | Photo: Hussain Waheed

Male’, Maldives – Maldives Police Service confirmed on Saturday that the court has released all seven suspects arrested on September 14, during a drug bust in capital Male’.

The seven local males, aged 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27 and 28, were arrested on September 14th under a court order, from the sixth floor of Vaifini residence in Henveiru district, based on reports provided by the drug intelligence department. Police also collected 42 empty film containers, 29 plastic packets and 216 cellophane wrappings suspected of holding drugs, as well as 225 pills, one joint, one bottle of alcohol, and up to MVR 17,150 in cash during the arrest.

According to police, the court initially freed two of the suspects claiming that there was insufficient evidence linking them to the drug case. The remaining five, taken into custody along with over one kilogram of illegal substances, were released on December 4, when they were summoned to court for their hearing.

The judge initially remanded the suspects for 15 days on November 11th announcing that the state’s request would be reviewed later even though the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office, requested the court to remand the suspects till the end of their trial. The remand period was extended by an additional 10 days by another judge on the hearing which was scheduled for November 25th.

Their release was announced on December 4th by the initial judge in which he stated that the none of the five suspects posed any danger to society, and therefore, ordered their release. Even though police revealed the above information, they did not reveal the court, or the judge, which made the decisions in the case.