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Police ask High Court for nine MoniCon orders



Police have asked the High Court for monitoring and control orders for nine people seen as a “danger to society or suspected to attempt an act that is not in line with expected social behaviour”.

The court granted the first MoniCon orders in March 2016, under former Home Minister Umar Naseer’s administration.

The orders, issued under the controversial 2015 Anti-Terrorism Act, are resuming after an 18-month hiatus in response to the surge in violent crime.  MoniCon orders allow police to electronically tag, conduct surveillance, and intercept communication of people suspected of committing criminal activities.

Police spokesman Ahmed Shifan confirmed the request to the Maldives Independent and the reason behind it, but declined to comment if all nine had a criminal record or reveal their identities.

“We send cases of those we believe we should not lose watch of to the home ministry. A committee from the ministry will have to approve them before police request the High Court for an order to tag them. The tagged suspects can appeal the order and we can also ask the court for a review in certain circumstances such as improvements in behaviour, ” Shifan said.

He told the press on September 27 that police have sent information for MoniCon orders of 16 people involved in crime who they cannot arrest but that they believe should be under police watch.

“We have asked for orders of the nine cases the committee has now approved out of the 16 we submitted. The rest of the cases are also under consideration,” he told the Maldives Independent.

Those tagged will be required to stay at home between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am and cannot leave the capital without the home minister’s permission.

The police are also authorised to control their financial transactions.

The latest confirmed murder victim in the Maldives is Haris Abdul Gafoor from the island of Dhaandhoo in Gaaf Alif atoll.

He was pronounced dead at the Hulhumalé hospital on October 1 after being stabbed eight times.