Zayan’s murder: attempts made to mislead police and destroy evidence

Maldives Police Service briefs the press on the murder of Mohamed Zayan Moosa, 21, Solid, S. Feydhoo, on October 19, 2022. | Photo: Muaviyath Anwar

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Police Service on Wednesday have revealed that the gang responsible for the murder of 21 year-old Mohamed Zayan Moosa, Solid, S. Feydhoo attempted to mislead the police investigation and destroy evidence.

21 year old Mohamed Zayan Moosa, Solid, S. Feydhoo died due to injuries from a violent stabbing using sharp-edged weapons in the early hours of Thursday, 2 June 2022 which took place in Feydhoo, Addu City.

Head of Death and Homicide Investigation Unit, Inspector of Police Mohamed Samih told in a press conference that the murder was premeditated and carried out as a revenge in a gang rivalry.

Inspector Samih also added that the gang leaders who planned the attack had attempted to mislead the police by placing themselves in a restaurant to have alibi and that the assailants had called them to inform them after the attack.

Samih further added that those who had planned the attack wanted to have their alibi and for those at the restaurant to testify for them while the assailants hid and spied on Zayan at his house at the night of the murder.

It was also revealed that the assailants were hiding at a house in which they attempted to burn the weapons used to attack Zayan. CCTV footage of the assailants buying petrol for the purpose has been received for the investigation.

Inspector Samih told that their investigation found another motive other than the gang rivalry for Zayan’s murder but they were not able to disclose the information at the moment.

Total 11 suspects were arrested in the case, including the four minors charged with murder.

The identities of the adults arrested in the case were released Wednesday. They are:

  • Ahmed Abdulla, 25, Karanfooge, S. Feydhoo
  • Yaish Anwar, 19, Kadhurumaage, S. Feydhoo
  • Ahmed Shuau, 24, Dhirimaage, S. Feydhoo
  • Ailish Ali, 19, Fufoomaage, S. Feydhoo
  • Abdulla Rasheed, 22, Dhirimaage, S. Feydhoo
  • Abdulla Nizar, 28, Kaamaragage, S. Feydhoo
  • Ahmed Nabeel, 34, Sunshine, S. Feydhoo

Samih said the six suspects between ages 22 and 34 years had been involved in planning and organizing to have Zayan killed using the four minors.

According to PGO, one of the juveniles was charged under Act on Prohibiting Threatening and Possession of ‎Dangerous Weapons and Sharp Objects (Act No. 17/2010) for using a sharp object to knowingly cause the death of another person.

The remaining three were charged under the same Act for knowingly aiding someone in knowingly causing the death of another person. 

PGO also revealed that two out the three who were charged in aiding in a murder had confessed to their crimes and the other had requested for a diversion agreement under the Juvenile Justice Act (Act 18-2019) which has been granted.

Diversion, invoking removal from criminal justice processing and redirection to community support services, is commonly practiced on a formal and informal basis in many legal systems. This practice serves to hinder the negative effects of subsequent proceedings in juvenile justice administration, e.g. the stigma of conviction and sentence.

It was also revealed by PGO that five others who are of age are being investigated by Maldives Police for the murder of Zayan and that their investigation was being given extensions based on the works needed to be done.

Media reports had previously reported foul play by Maldives Police Service in the investigation of the murder and political influence to prevent the investigation and prosecution of the people involved in the murder. 

Reports of the gang to which all the suspects are believed to be from of funding and paying individual police officers and threatening officers during the arrests also surfaced shortly after the homicide took place.