Man arrested with drugs outside Male’ mosque

A police line bars access to a mosque in Male' City on May 24, 2020. (Fayaz Moosa)

A young man has been arrested from outside a mosque in Male’ City carrying packages believed to contain narcotics.

Police identified the suspect a 24-year-old Maldivian male. He was arrested from outside the traders’ mosque in Maafannu district on Sunday night.

Police said he was carrying cellophane packages believed to contain narcotics.

Maldivian capital is facing a rise in cases of drug abuse within mosques, which have been partially closed as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Imams complain smoking, drug abuse and other illegal activity have become commonplace in mosques.

When questioned by Sun regarding the issue, a police spokesperson confirmed they have been receiving repeated complaints regarding people abusing drugs, sleeping, washing their clothes and engaging in other inappropriate activities in mosques.

Police said they routinely check mosques at night, and send away, and even arrest and investigate people who engage in such activities where possible.

Police said they have also shared the issue with other relevant agencies, and are taking measures possible to remedy the issue.