Interpol team arrives to assist in 70kg drug bust

Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed and other senior officers of Police with Interpol's Incident Response Team. (Photo/Twitter/Mohamed Hameed)

An Incident Response Team from Interpol has arrived in the Maldives to assist in the investigation of the recent drug bust of 70kg.

The drugs were seized in a joint operation by MNDF Coastguard and Police on a foreign boat 172 miles (27.5 nautical miles) off the coast of H. A Thuraakunu. A Maldivian boat that traveled to receive the drugs was also seized in the operation at sea.

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed tweeted last night that an Incident Response Team from Interpol was working with the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) of Maldives Police Services on the case.

A total of 13 people has been arrested in connection with the bust. 11 of these individuals were remanded in custody for 15 days while the remaining two were remanded in custody for 10 days by the Criminal Court. The boat was flying under an Iranian flag when three sacks containing 70 packets of drugs weighing 70 kg was seized.

The street value of the drugs seized in the operation is around MVR 59.2 million, according to Police.

An Iranian boat was also captured in May of this year with 51kg of drugs on board. Five Iranian nationals are being charged by the state in that case.