Escaped detainees from Malé custodial centre caught

Escaped detainees from Malé custodial centre caught
February 18 15:30 2017

A group of detainees who escaped from a police custodial centre in the capital was taken back into custody on Friday.

After local media reported that the group broke out of the Malé custodial last week, the police said in a tweet last night: “All those involved in breaking out of Malé custodial have been caught and the police are investigating the matter.”

A police media official declined to provide further details.

The police did not inform the public of the breakout prior to the news breaking in local media on Friday evening.

According to online paper VFP, five detainees broke out after removing one of the panels from the tin roof of their cell.

The Malé custodial centre is used to detain suspects before remand hearings, which take place 24 hours after an arrest. 

Unlike prisons managed by the Maldives Correctional Service, police officers are responsible for security operations at the detention centre.

The detainees who broke out could face additional charges over the escape. 

A group of detainees also broke out of their cells at the police custodial facility on the island of Dhoonidhoo in November. However, they were caught by the police officers who guard the detention centre before they could get off the island.

The island is a five-minute speedboat ride from the capital Malé. The Dhoonidhoo centre is used to house detainees awaiting either trial or sentencing.

Detainees have escaped from both Dhoonidhoo and the Malé custodial centre in the past. A 20-year-old arrested on a robbery charge escaped from Dhoonidhoo in June 2009 but was caught while swimming to the nearby island of Hulhumalé. He was spotted by passengers on the Hulhumalé ferry.

A man convicted over the 2007 Sultan park bomb blast also escaped from the custodial centre in early 2009. Moosa Inaz had also escaped from the high-security Maafushi prison.

More recently, two inmates escaped from Maafushi island in October 2014. Fariyash Ahmed and Ibrahim Shahum Adam, both of whom were serving life sentences for murder, were apprehended in Malé days later in a joint military and police operation.