The fatal stabbing of Nadheem Abdul Rahman was a revenge killing arising from a feud between two groups, police said Wednesday.
Nadheem was stabbed to death by masked assailants in late July, with his murder and that of Mohamed Anas coming amid a spike in violent crimes in Malé that led to a manhunt for 34 suspects.
Chief Station Inspector Mohamed Samih from the new major crime department told the press that Nadeem’s murder took place as part of a series of killings and as “revenge stemming from a feud between two groups.”
He said the suspects in Nadheem’s murder rode their motorcycles shortly after 6 pm towards Terminal Cafe, where he was attacked with a kitchen knife.
The knife got stuck above his left ear and was removed by one of his friends at his table.
The police also said the suspects made an attempt to attack another person at the cafe but that this assault was stopped by Nadheem’s friends and other customers.
“A large amount of assets at the cafe were also damaged,” said Samih. “The attackers left on the motorcycles right after the attack.”
The Prosecutor General’s office filed murder charges against four suspects last week.
The police previously told media that the prime suspect arrested on August 11 in connection with Nadheem’s murder was released from prison in April after serving a one-year term for violating a ‘monitoring and control’ order.
Mohamed Mafaz Hussain Saleem was among 11 alleged gang members tagged with electronic tracking devices in March last year after the High Court granted the first ‘monicon’ orders to the police.
But contrary to media reports suggesting Mafaz should have been in pre-trial detention, police said he had served a one-year High Court sentence for violating the monicon order.
Mafaz, whom the police previously characterised as a repeat offender that posed a threat to society, was arrested after a raid on his Jelly Fish house in the Galolhu ward of the capital.
Tagging of suspected gang members will resume this week after an 18-month hiatus in response to the surge in violent crime.
The police spokesman, Ahmed Shifan, said the police have asked the high court for an order to tag 16 people. “The information of sixteen people involved in criminal scenes, whom we cannot arrest but believe we should be under our watch, have been handed over to the process.”
Last month, police arrested 12 suspects in connection with the brutal murder of 25-year-old Anas, who was killed a day after Nadheem.