Male’, Maldives – Answering public outrage after convicted drug smuggler Abdullah Sofwath, which made headlines for being released after serving just 3 years of his 25 year life sentence, a government official said yesterday that he was released lawfully and due to his good behavior in prison.
Abdhullah Sofwath, of H. Everpeace was convicted of smuggling 24 kilograms of drugs with a street value of MVR 100 million and was sentenced to 25 years in prison, back in 2017. He was reportedly released on the 29th of July 2020.
The drugs in question were confiscated in 2014, after a lengthy maritime operation by the Maldives Police Service, which are reported to have been found hidden in a dinghy brought in by a Iranian vessel and was the largest drug bust in the Maldives at that time.
Breaking the silence by The Ministry of Home Affairs and The Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) on the matter and refuting claims made by Umar Naseer that this release was done illegally , the government official revealed Sofwath’s release was as per the power vested in the President under the 29th amendment of the Maldivian Constitution.
He further explained that Sofwath’s behavior had greatly improved during the 3 years at the correctional facility, even acting as the establishment’s Imam. The official said that the President pardoned Sofwath after referring to a report by the Director of Corrections, which stated that MCS management believed Sofwath was completely rehabilitated, and posed no threat to the community,
The official said that the report on Sofwath was the ‘best report on an inmate he had ever seen’
Speaking on alleged ongoing efforts to release Ismail Moosa, who was also jailed for 25 years along with Sofwath for the same drug case, the official said that Ismail is thought to be the ringleader in the case, and considering many different details, there are no plans to release him any time soon.
Drug abuse is considered the root of many other crimes in the Maldives, and many are alarmed at the recent leniency of the government when dealing with such cases, with numerous people suspected of drug charges released just yesterday.