Customs seized over the weekend more than 2.5kg of heroin from two Maldivian men who attempted to smuggle the drugs through the international airport.
In the first case, customs officers grew suspicious of a 25-year-old man who arrived from Sri Lanka on Friday and checked his luggage. They found 1.5kg of heroin with an estimated street value of about MVR1 million (US$64,850).
The second case involved a 25-year-old man who arrived on Saturday from Trivandrum in India. Customs officers found 0.3kg of cocaine and 1kg of heroin from his luggage. The estimated street value of the cocaine was MVR1.1 million.
Both suspects and the confiscated drugs were handed over to police for further investigation.
Heroin and hashish oil (a liquid extract of cannabis) are the most commonly used drugs in the Maldives, but LSD, ecstasy and other synthetic drugs have been found in recent years.
In 2018, customs seized 17kg of cannabis, 10kg of heroin, 3383 grams of psychotropic drugs (amphetamines, ecstasy and methamphetamines), 664 grams of ‘new psychoactive substances,’ and 563 grams of cocaine.
Last month, Indian newspaper The Hindu reported that the bulk of the hashish smuggled to Kerala from marijuana-growing regions in Andhra Pradesh is trafficked to the Maldives.
In late April, Maldives police found 149kg of heroin and cannabis buried on an uninhabited island in the southern Gaaf Dhaalu atoll. With an estimated street value of MVR260 million (US$16 million), it was the largest haul from a single operation.