6 arrested with 5.5 kilos of heroin in southern Maldives

Officers from Drug Enforcement Department (DED) pictured during a raid. (Photo/Maldives Police Service)

Maldives authorities, on Monday, arrested six suspects and seized 5.5 kilos of heroin in an operation off the coast of Addu City.

Maldives Police Service, in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, said the operation involved the Police Intelligence, along with police officers and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) officers stationed in Addu City.

The operation was launched based on information received by Police Intelligence of a large shipment of narcotics being trafficked from G. Dh. Thinadhoo to Addu City via sea.

The operation took place off the coast of Addu City, towards the northern end of Kandihera in Hithadhoo, at approximately 05:20 pm on Monday.

The police and military officers stopped and searched a speedboat travelling to Addu City from Thinadhoo, on board which they found five packages of heroin.

The narcotics weighed a total of 5.5 kilos, said the police.

The police arrested six suspects in connection to the case; identified as an 18-year-old woman, three 26-year-old men, a 28-year-old man, and a 30-year-old man.

The case is under further investigation by the police.

In a similar operation in March, the police seized 61.06 kilos of heroin – valued at MVR 72 million - from a fishing boat. The police arrested 11 suspects in connection to the case, seven of whom were arrested from the fishing boat itself, while the remaining four were arrested from Male’ City and suburban Hulhumale’.

The Prosecutor General’s Office filed charges against the 11 suspects with the Criminal Court in May.