Police say it had arrested 7 individuals for attempting to smuggle narcotic drugs via sea aboard a vessel used for yellowfin tuna fishing.
Police said that in a joint operation by the Drug Enforcement Department, Police Intelligence, and Marine Police, the drug bust was made on the 12th of October after the fishing vessel was raided.
It said those 7 arrested include 6 individuals between the ages of 25 to 48 and that a suspect below 18 years of age was also arrested in relation to the crime.
Police identified the ringleaders of the trafficking network as Shaheeb Ibrahim of Gaafu Alifu Villigilli Lighthouse aged 42 and Ahmed Moosa of Haa Alifu Horafushi Violet villa aged 48 years.
It also said that Shaheeb had been connected to a previous drug trafficking case in which an Iranian sea vessel was seized in Maldivian waters for suspected drug smuggling.
Police had identified him as the liaison for the Iranians but the Criminal Court freed the Iranians.
Police also said that the Juvenile court had sentenced that the underage individual held in relation to the case be remanded in custody for 10 days.
Meanwhile, Police said that the Criminal Court had sentenced Shaheeb to be remanded in custody for 15 days along with the other 4 arrested in the operation and that Ahmed Moosa is remanded in custody for 5 days.
Police clarified that it had conducted the operation after receiving information that a group of locals has teamed up with foreigners in an attempt to smuggle narcotics drugs into the country via the sea and that police had captured the sea vessel used to smuggle the drugs into the country. Police said the raid on the vessel uncovered a huge bust of narcotics drugs and that police had also searched three apartments in Hulhumale as well as two houses in Male’ in relation to the operation.
Police added that the narcotics drugs seized from the operation currently weighs around 130kgs and that they include Methamphetamine and heroin.