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Maldives ex-police chief arrested on coup plot charges

Former Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef has been placed under arrest after his apartment in Malé was raided Tuesday morning.



Former Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef has been arrested after his apartment was searched Tuesday morning.

The sacked police chief is accused of plotting to overthrow the government, his lawyer Ibrahim Shameel told the media.

Areef was dismissed hours after police announced it would enforce a Supreme Court order for the release of high-profile prisoners last month. The attorney general told the press that President Abdulla Yameen was unable to reach Areef on the phone after the shock ruling.

Areef was reportedly barred from leaving the country. His successor as police chief was also sacked before Yameen declared a state of emergency and the security forces stormed the Supreme Court.

The opposition alleges dozens of top police and military officers have been detained since the February 1 Supreme Court order, which the government maintains was part of a “judicial coup” to remove Yameen from office.

On Monday, the Maldives National Defence Force denied claims by former president Mohamed Nasheed that Brigadier General Zakariyya Mansoor had been detained in barracks.