The Edition
facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon linkedin icon


Court extends remand of individuals involved in smuggling over 4.5kg of drugs into Maldives

The remand of two individuals involved smuggling over 4.5 kilograms of drugs into the country has been extended by an additional 15 days.

Aishath Shuba Solih
16 May 2024, MVT 16:33
Disposal of drugs previously smuggled into the country. -- Photo: Police
Aishath Shuba Solih
16 May 2024, MVT 16:33

Criminal court has extended the remand of the Pakistani smuggled over 4.5 kilograms of drugs into Maldives by air on March 15 and the Maldivian who went to the airport to receive the items.

The court has extended the remand of the two individuals, 29 year old Mohamed Aqib from Pakistan and 37 year old Maldivian, Ali Rameez by 15 days.

The court said that the prosecution had identified that the luggage containing drugs was smuggled into the country jointly by both individuals. The court further said that the prosecution highlighted the involvement of airport staff in removing the tag from the luggage.

The prosecution had submitted statements of police and customs officers who were active at the scene alongside the report by crime scene officers and the investigation report of the drugs.

The court ruling stated that the two individuals are accused of attempting to smuggle large quantities of drugs into the country. It further noted the prosecution's observation of airport staff involvement in facilitating the crime, describing it as a premeditated act carried out through organized planning.

Prosecutor General's Office had appealed to the court to remand the accused in custody until the conclusion of the trial. However, this request was denied because PG Office had not yet decided on the charges against the accused.

Last month, the police disclosed that two employees of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) were implicated in clearing over 4.5 kilograms of drugs smuggled into the country via air at the Velana International Airport (VIA) and revealed that the criminal court has since released one of the two staff members involved.

The drugs attempted to be smuggled into the country were found to be heroin and methamphetamine.

However, Police Spokesperson Ahmed Shifan stated that when individuals involved in the case were brought to the Criminal Court to extend their remand periods, the court had released the 'lead perpetrator in the case,' who is a senior MACL staff, under certain conditions.

Police highlighted that although they identified two MACL staff alleged in the case, the incident is undergoing serious investigations due to the suspected involvement of 'many employees.

A similar case emerged towards the end of January last year, involving the disappearance of luggage containing 30 kilograms of narcotics belonging to a Pakistani individual from VIA. Police stated that they observed the absence of CCTV cameras in crucial locations of the airport during their investigation into identifying the perpetrator who took the luggage. Additionally, police revealed that customs had not handed over the luggage to them.

Over an year has passed since the incident, and the individual who had taken the luggage remains unidentified till date.

Share this story

Related Stories