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MDP criticises linking crime surge to previous government

MDP denies allegations of the party's former government being responsible for the increased crime rates in the capital city of Malé, and criticised Maldives Police Service's comments suggesting so.

Ameera Osmanagic
21 June 2024, MVT 13:10
[File] Maldives Police Service Officers on the streets of Malé -- Photo: Mihaaru
Ameera Osmanagic
21 June 2024, MVT 13:10

Former ruling party Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) issued a statement yesterday condemning Assistant Commissioner of Police Ahmed Shifan's assertion linking the party's administration during the recent presidential term to the rising crime rates in Malé City.

The statement criticised Shifan's post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) in which he attributed the surge in crime rates to the release of 434 convicts around ten months ago, and the lack of a robust system to monitor them, and claimed that Shifan's allegations were not backed by evidence, data, study or document, but instead was entirely politically motivated.

"The party considers it irresponsible for the police, who hold the legal responsibility of maintaining security and preventing crime in the country, to make such a statement," the statement read.

MDP maintains that all convicts released during their administration, led by former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, were pardoned as per Act number 2/2010 (Clemency Act). It detailed that those who were reintegrated into society were identified to be individuals with good behaviour, and those who had completed various reintegration programmes and were found to be ideal candidates for an additional chance.

The statement further clarified that their release was conditional to them not committing further criminal offences within one year from the date of their release, which if violated, would have them returned to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence without an additional verdict.

Based on this, MDP claims that failure to return those currently committing crimes back to prison means that they were not released by the previous government run by the party.

MDP also claimed that the current administration had freed notorious criminals back into society ahead of the most recent parliamentary election, adding that proper procedures were not followed in pardoning them.

As such, the party called on to the government to publish the list of those convicts.

"While crime can only be stopped with full enforcement of the law and the government fulfilling its legal responsibility, [we] call on to the government to ensure peace of society and safety of the people instead of absolving itself from the legal responsibility of controlling crime," MDP said.

Recently, there has been a notable increase in crime reports from Malé City, a fact acknowledged by the Maldives Police Service in a recent press conference.

In some of the most recent cases, a large-scale scam involving vehicles within the Transport Ministry came to light while authorities were already investigating the theft of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL)'s Managing Director Ibrahim Shareef Mohamed's vehicle. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that a significant vehicle theft network was behind the crime.

Multiple cases of men being lured into a flat in Hulhumalé Phase 2 under various pretenses, then being held against their will and blackmailed, have also been reported recently. Authorities have revealed the identities of the five individuals involved in this.

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Crime MDP Police