Senior police officers briefed the media Thursday night about unnatural deaths in recent months, including the fatal stabbing of two teenagers and the death of a man from electrocution on a southern island.
The murders of 18-year-old Ibrahim Agil on August 31 and 14-year-old Ismail Shaffan Shareef on October 11 were “revenge killings” amid reprisals between rival gangs in the capital, said Sub-Inspector Mohamed Samih, head of the homicide department.
Seven male suspects between 19 to 27 years of age remain in custody. Charges have been filed at the criminal court, he noted.
Agil was stabbed to death near the central bank building, a short distance from the police and military headquarters in the capital’s Republic Square. It was the third violent assault in Malé in a week amid a resurgence of gang violence.
Shaffan, a seventh grade student in a Malé school from the Seenu Feydhoo Heenaamage house, was stabbed in the neck during a fight between rival gangs. He passed away while undergoing treatment at the ADK hospital.
On the day before, a 26-year-old man was assaulted near the Giyasuddin School in Malé. Later that night, five young men were arrested with knives on suspicion of preparing for a gang fight.
– Death trap –
The cause of death for Hussain Simad, who was found with severe burns inside a boat shed on Villigili island in Gaaf Alif atoll last month, was electrocution from a booby trap.
Saeed Hassan, caretaker of the boat shed, is suspected of having laid the trap after a string of robberies, said Superintendent Hassan Shifau, head of the serious and organised crime department.
Saeed, an experienced electrician who works at the Fenaka powerhouse on the southern island, was the one who reported the discovery of Simad’s body to police on the morning of February 17.
He was questioned over the death but was not taken into custody. There are “additional matters” that need investigating, the police superintendent said.
Saeed could face charges of negligent homicide.
Simad was found stuck in an opening in the tin wall of the boat shed. It was walled off by tin sheets up to 40-feet high and there was a 100-feet safari vessel readied for gel coating.
The electric booby trap was laid after the gap was used during robberies over the past year.
Electric wires appeared to have been thrown away from the body and the circuit breakers were turned off when police officers arrived at the crime scene. But Simad’s DNA was found on the wires.
He was last seen in the afternoon of February 16. On the night before he was found dead, Simad’s wife had gone to the police station to see if he was under arrest as he was not answering his phone.
But witnesses told police they saw him at different locations on the island.
The family later reported him as missing when they found his phone was turned off around 9pm.
Simad, who had a criminal record, was among suspects arrested over a robbery from the island’s Bank of Maldives branch in November, Raajje reported.
Simad was born in Seenu Hithadhoo. He had changed his permanent address and registered to vote on Villigili for the 2008 presidential election.
Islanders described him as a kind and helpful person, police said.