The criminal court on Wednesday ordered the return of large amounts of alcohol seized from a tourist liveaboard by the police in a raid last week.
The verdict came after the owner of the liveaboard lodged a case in court claiming the alcohol was seized in violation of the criminal procedures act.
In an operation conducted last Thursday, police searched a safari boat docked in Hulhumale’ lagoon with a court warrant and arrested two Bangladeshi men and a 29-year old Maldivian man. A 46-year old Bangladeshi man was also arrested in Malé with seven liquor bottles in relation to the case.
Police conducted the operation on the grounds of suspicion of using narcotics on the liveaboard and smuggling alcohol into Malé. Possession and distribution of alcohol without a permit is illegal in the Maldives.
More than 87 cases of liquor and 47 cases of beer were seized from the safari boat.
Police said they followed the “correct practices” in the case.
However, Judge Adam Arif said despite seizing alcohol from the liveaboard, the owner of the alcohol had no criminal charges related to the case against him.