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Two men serving life sentence in drug case released

13 September 2018, MVT 20:26
The one kilo of drugs found by Customs. PHOTO: CUSTOMS
13 September 2018, MVT 20:26

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, ordered the release of two men who were caught smuggling over a kilogram of drugs into Maldives in 2011.

The Supreme Court sentenced Abdul Latheef Mohamed and Hassan Ali Umar to life in 2014 after they were arrested at the southwest harbour in capital city Male’ while attempting to load and transport three packages in a taxi.

The duo had filed an appeal at the court, claiming that they were unaware of the drugs in the package, and alleged that, to their knowledge, the package contained fruits.

The ruling was passed unanimously by the three-judge bench, stating that there was no substantial evidence against the case.

The state had earlier received information that Mohamed and Umar called and threatened a contact person in India in order to import the drugs ahead of schedule. However, as the statement by the contact person in India did not disclose any information on a threat, the court concluded the case due to lack of substantial evidence against Mohamed and Umar.

In addition, the three packages containing drugs were also part of a shipment of fruits ordered by a local company, to which the duo, reportedly, had no connection.

The court further stated that rulings must be made based on concrete evidence as the principles of strict liability apply in drug-related cases.

The judges presiding over the case were Judge Ghanee Mohamed, Judge Abdulla Areef and Judge Adam Mohamed Abdulla.

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