70kg drug boat bust: All Maldivians except kingpin released

Coastguard officers pose for a picture onboard Iranian-flagged boat and its crew - captured from Maldivian territorial waters carrying drugs on October 5, 2019. (Photo/MNDF)

Police have released all Maldivians arrested for their involvement in the 70kg drug bust made on an Iranian boat on October 5, 2019, all except the alleged “kingpin” of the operation.

Around 70kgs of drugs were found on an Iranian boat around 172 miles away from H.A Thuraakunu in a joint operation by Police and MNDF Coastguard on October 5.

A Maldivian boat that rendezvoused with the Iranian boat to receive the drugs, named Hedheykuri-7 was also seized in the operation along with four of its crew; two local citizens and two expatriate workers who were detained.

Police and Coastguard seized a massive drug stash of 70kg on an Iranian boat on October 6, 2019. These men have been revealed by police as the men who were leading this operation of trafficking drugs into the Maldives. (Photo/Police)

10 people were arrested in connection to the drug bust initially, but the number rose to 13 after Police arrested a further three people who were part of the trafficking network. The three people arrested later on were believed to be the mastermind running the operation.

Today, Police informed that all the Maldivians involved in the operation but one, have been released from custody. The person still in custody is the alleged ringleader of the network and has been named Ali Anwar Mohamed (35 years) from Cozy Corner, S. Hithadhoo (Criminal record: Theft).

Police also stated that the Criminal Court had ordered the six Iranians arrested on the boat to be kept in detention.