Maldives Police Service arrested five locals over drug possession across three atolls in northern Maldives this week.
Police Intelligence and officers stationed in Shaviyani Atoll's Funadhoo, Noonu Atoll's Kudafari, and Haa Dhaalu Atoll's Kulhudhuffushi carried out a joint operation on September 21 and 22, as part of the police's ongoing combat against the trade of illicit substances in the country.
The police arrested three individuals aged 26, 35 and 36 from Funadhoo, where raids on three different locations led to the discovery of two cellophane packets and 32 paper packets containing suspected drugs.
A man aged 24 was arrested from Kudafari harbour after a film canister containing suspected drugs was found on his person.
The last suspect was a 33-year-old man, who was apprehended from Kulhudhuffushi harbour. He had a rubber packet also filled with suspected drugs.
Police stated that further investigation was underway and did not disclose additional information.
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).