HC orders alleged drug trafficker Arshad to jail pending outcome of trial

Arshad Khalid (top R) and Ali Zubair (top L) during a Criminal Court hearing on February 18, 2021.

High Court ordered for Arshad Khalid – believed by police to be the leader of a local heroin trafficking ring – to jail pending the outcome of his trial on Wednesday, overruling an order by the Criminal Court to release him from jail back in February.

Arshad was arrested with eight additional suspects in an operation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) on January 30, 2020. The police seized over nine kilos of diamorphine (heroin) and over four grams of cocaine in the operation.

Arshad – who police named as the ringleader – has been charged with trafficking diamorphine. It will see him sentenced to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Criminal Court previously ordered his release, but later reversed the decision and ordered that he be detained pending the outcome of trial, before reversing the decision again and ordering his release on February 18.

The decision was appealed by the Prosecutor General’s Office with the High Court, which, on Wednesday, ordered that be he jailed pending the outcome of his trial.

Sun has been informed the court heard testimony from approximately 30 witnesses over the course of two days in connection to the case – none of whom linked Arshad with the drugs.

The State pursued charges against eight of the nine suspects arrested in connection to the case: 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; and Ahmed Giyas, 25, Madrithouse, GDh. Hoadedhdhoo.

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


  • Arshad Khalid: diamorphine trafficking
  • Ali Zubair: diamorphine trafficking, trafficking of a drug listed on Appendix 1
  • Ahmed Sunain: diamorphine trafficking, consumption of a drug listed on Appendix 1
  • Hussain Zaheen: diamorphine trafficking
  • Ismail Vishal: Accessory to diamorphine trafficking, consumption of cannabis
  • Aslam Nazim: diamorphine trafficking
  • Ahmed Imsah: Accessory to diamorphine trafficking
  • Ahmed Giyas: Accessory to diamorphine trafficking

The Prosecutor General’s Office has filed a motion to recover MVR 9,797,702, which includes MVR 1,535,110 and USD 146,731, believed to be profits from the sale of drugs, to the State under Section 158 (a) of Drugs Act, in reference to Section 160 of Drugs Act. The court granted a freeze order on the bank accounts of some of the suspects.