The Maldives police raided four houses in the capital Malé where drug dealers were operating with high security.
“You can buy and use narcotics in these places. They were providing all the services related to buying and using drugs,” Superintendent Ahmed Shakir, head of the drug enforcement department, said at a press briefing Monday.
The drug dens were discovered from the Pelican house in Galolhu ward, Boakeyo Gashdhoshuge in Machchangolhi ward, and the Memory Villa and Everest houses in Maafannu ward.
Strong security systems were in place at all the residences, Shakir said.
“They placed metal doors to prevent the police from entering in a situation. They also had security cameras. However, we would like to inform that in such a case we would not hesitate to break down any barriers,” he said.
Taxis and private cars have also caught trafficking and delivering drugs in Malé. During the past four months, three taxis, two private cars and five motorcycles were stopped with drugs and alcohol.
The names and other details of houses and vehicles used in drug dealing would be made public in the future, police announced.
An Iranian boat seized with drugs earlier this month was previously stopped twice outside Maldivian territorial waters, Shakir noted.
Nearly 50kg of drugs were found concealed inside the vessel. Six Iranians and one Pakistani crew member are under custody.
It is unclear whether there was any connection between the drug supplying boat and 149kg of drugs found buried on a southern island, the police drug chief told reporters.
The identity of five suspects arrested in connection with the record bust were revealed at the press conference. They were Ahmed Khaameem, 42, from Gaaf Dhaal Gadhdhoo, Shafeez Mohamed, 35, from Gaaf Alif Kodey, Ahmed Anil, 34, from Gaaf Alif Kodey, Ali Shakir, 30, from Gaaf Alif Nilandhoo, and Yaamih Khalid, 23, from Gaaf Dhaal Gadhdhoo.
As of April, 158kg of heroin and 65kg of cannabis have been seized during operations carried out this year.
Some 927 people were arrested in drug-related cases, including 111 people arrested for trafficking, 394 for peddling, 77 for possession of alcohol and 345 arrested under the influence.