Nasheed alleges police officers involved in major crimes

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed wears a mask to protect from the spread of the new coronavirus as he presides over a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed, on Tuesday, called for an investigation into the police, alleging that officers suspected of involvement in the MMPRC embezzlement case continued to serve on the police force, and that some harbored links with criminal gangs and extremist groups.

Speaking at the parliamentary sitting on Tuesday morning, Nasheed said that while the police investigated the MMPRC embezzlement scam, officers involved in the scam continued to serve on the police force.

“They are there in that office. And it will be very difficult to run this investigation through them,” said Nasheed.

He said that police officers suspected of involvement in the embezzlement needed to be placed under immediate suspension, and that acting otherwise would undermine the whole investigation.

Nasheed alleged that police officers were also linked with drug trafficking rings, and that the riot police were linked with criminal gangs.

He said that it was important that it be investigated.

“And at the same time many are aware of the existence of a sinister network. Investigations are being diverted, and we are clueless as to what is happening,” said Nasheed.

He took the murder of prominent politician and Islamic scholar Dr. Afrasheem Ali in 2012 and the abduction and the murder of journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla in 2014 as examples, noting that the Disappearances and Deaths Commission (DDCom) had been spied on by police officers prior to his abduction.

He said that it was important to study police involvement in “the two sides” of the major crimes which had taken place in recent Maldivian history.

“There are certainly no group of people who know the police institution from the two sides better than us. From the two sides. I have sat on both sides of the table,” he said.

Nasheed said that the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had been awarded the supermajority of the Parliament by the people for the very purpose of reforming such issues.

“The opportunity we have been awarded by the Maldivian people is to work on reforming such issues. The Maldivian people are well aware of who we are and where our interest lay,” he said.

Nasheed said the Parliament needed to hold in depth discussions into the internal mechanisms in place in the police during the debate on the Police Bill.