Authorities don’t cooperate in drug cases – Home Min. Imran

The Minister of Home Affairs, Imran Abdullah | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdullah has brought to the attention of the Parliament that some authorities are not cooperating with the Ministry in cases related to drugs.

In a written response to MP Hassan Latheef’s questions, Minister Imran stated that courts have not been approving the checking of contents in phones that have been seized in drug busts since August of 2021. He also added that although the matter has been requested to the Prosecutor General’s Office to be appealed in court, it has yet to be done as well.

However, he did mention one case where content extraction of devices were allowed by the High Court, after the PG office appealed the matter upon request, which squashed the lower court ruling to deny extraction. The case was a matter of 119 kilograms of drugs captured recently.

“Therefore, rather than instances of malice in investigated drug cases, the occurrence of relevant authorities failing to carry out due diligence is observed more; that the actions needed to be taken to prevent dealing of drugs has not been taken,” said Minister Imran.

The Minister further added that despite many drug related cases being sent to courts, there are many cases of which only remand reviews are carried out.

“With a total of 10 remand reviews, there are still cases in the preliminary stage. The result of this is those arrested for drug trafficking being released due to various excuses and health reasons.”

Minister further explained that procedures have been put in place within the organisation to submit complaints, investigate and take necessary actions against those maliciously carrying out their duties via loopholes in the system.

As a possible remedy to the issues, Imran shed light to an ongoing internal audit being conducted on all court concluded cases of the past three years, and added that an independent audit will follow, which would dissect the events that took place during investigation, prosecution as well as lower and higher court hearings.

Referring to these audits, he stated that all stakeholders within the sector would convene to work on resolving the issues that arise concerning this matter, once the audits conclude.