Suspected head of drug ring released by court again

The eight suspects charged in connection to a major drug operation in Male' City on January 30, 2020. (Photo/Maldives Police Service)

Arushad Khalid (24), alleged to be one of the leading figures of a drug network in the Maldives who was arrested in a police operation of January 30, 2020, has been released from custody on the orders of the Criminal Court.

Arushad from Alora, GDh. Hoadedhdhoo was arrested along with eight others. Nine kgs of drugs were also seized during the operation. Police believe that Arushad was the head of the drug ring. The Criminal Court had previously ordered to release him, only to revert the decision and detain him until the end of his trial. 

Arushad Khalid and Ali Zubair during court proceedings.

A second hearing to review his detention was held yesterday where Judge Adam Mohamed decided to release Arushad. Arushad is charged with trafficking diamorphine which could see a sentence of 25 years. Witness statements were collected on two occasions in the case. Sources have also stated that Arushad was not linked with the drugs by any of the witnesses. 

Those arrested in the case are:

  • Arshad Khalid, 24, Allora, GDh. Hoadedhdhoo
  • Ali Zubair, 50, Guleynooranmaage, GDh. Hoadedhdhoo
  • Ahmed Sunain, 23, Irumatheege, GDh. Hoadedhdhoo
  • Hussain Zaheen, 25, Matharasmaage, L. Kalaidhoo
  • Ismail Vishal, 25, M. Dhaarulgaraaru, Male’
  • Aslam Nazim, 37, Ma. Violetmaage, Male’
  • Ahmed Imsah, 32, Miskiydhoshuge, Lh. Naifaru
  • Mohamed Sidhurath, 27, Surayyaa Manzil, GA. Gemanafushi
  • Ahmed Giyas, 25, Madrithouse, GDh. Hoadedhdhoo

All of those arrested were charged with attempting to traffic diamorphine, being accessory to drug trafficking, or using prohibited drugs. 

More than MVR 1.5 million was also seized from the men along with USD 146,731. A total of MVR 3.8 million, believed to be drug money seized from the operation was requested to be taken for the state by the prosecution. Some of the bank accounts of the men were also frozen in relation to the case.