The magistrate court of Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, on Sunday threw out drug trafficking charges against five suspects who were arrested last year in one of the biggest drug busts in recent history.
The Prosecutor General’s Office charged five suspects in connection with 149 kilograms of narcotics, seized from Hulhuvaarulu, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, in April 2019.
The suspects were Ahmed Khaleel, 42, from Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Shafeez Mohamed, 35, and Ahmed Anil, 34, both from Kondey, Gaafu Alif Atoll, Ali Shakir, 30, from Nilandhoo, Gaafu Alif Atoll, and Yaamih Haleedh, 23 from Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.
Four of them were charged with trafficking diamorphine, while the other was charged as an accomplice.
According to local media, however, the PG Office confirmed that the Gadhdhoo Magistrate Court rejected the charges.
Police revealed last year that they conducted a 72-hour operation to locate the illegal narcotics, which were buried in Hulhuvaarulu.
The 100 kilograms of heroin and 49 kilograms of cannabis had a street value of up to MVR 260 million, per the police.
Under Maldivian law, drug trafficking is a serious criminal offence punishable by life imprisonment and carries a hefty fine in the range of MVR 100,000 (USD 6,485) to MVR 1 million (USD 64,850).