MACL worker arrested for involvement in drug trafficking granted conditional release

Velana International Airport (VIA). (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

One of the Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) employees who was arrested for involvement in trafficking drugs has been granted conditional release.

The Criminal Court made the decision on Saturday.

Two MACL employees, who have since been fired, were among five people arrested by the police on March 15, after over 4.5 kilos of drugs were found in the luggage of a Pakistani traveler.

According to the police the drugs, which tested positive for heroin and methamphetamine, were found inside a piece of luggage, which investigators believe the airport employees had been trying to smuggle out of the Velana International Airport, in violation of standard procedure.

The Criminal Court had granted conditional release to one of the MACL employees back on April 7.

The police identified him as a senior staff member who they believe to be the ringleader.

Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad granted conditional release to the second employee on Saturday, when he was taken before the court for an extension to his remand.

The judge cited a lack of prior criminal record or arrests in making the decision.

The 32-year-old is suspected of involvement in trafficking heroin and a schedule 1 drug.

The judge said that while the police submitted sufficient evidence against him, there was no grounds to keep him detained, as there was no evidence to suggest he poses a threat to society.

According to the terms of his conditional release, he is barred from leaving Male’ without permission from the court, and from communicating any witnesses in the case.

He has also been instructed to present himself to the court on time.

The other three people arrested in the case were the Pakistani traveler who carried the luggage, and two people who came to collect it.