Police have dismissed rumours on social media about the arrest of Commissioner Abdulla Nawaz and other high-ranking officers.
There are reports circulating on social media that some senior officers from MPS were arrested today. Please disregard the information as it is false.
— Maldives Police (@PoliceMv) March 10, 2018
Amid an alleged purge of the security forces, local media reported Saturday that police have seized mobile phones from the bodyguards of jailed opposition MP Abdulla Riyaz and Vice President Abdulla Jihad.
Riyaz’s private security Mohamed Niyaz, a former policeman, was shown a court warrant for the seizure around 3:00 pm. MP Riyaz, a former police chief, has been in custody since his arrest from the opposition ‘Occupy Majeedhee Magu’ protest on March 2.
According to newspaper Mihaaru, VP Jihad’s military bodyguard Abbas Umar’s phone was seized last Thursday after he was summoned to barracks by the military police.
Last week, two soldiers from the military’s elite Special Protection Group were relieved from duty shortly after their release from nearly two weeks in detention. The sacked soldiers were Ahmed Shaaniz, a former bodyguard for Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer, and Ahmed Shimaad, president Mohamed Nasheed’s ex-bodyguard.
They were reportedly accused of sowing discord within the ranks and illegally disclosing confidential information.
The opposition alleges dozens of top police and military officers have been detained since President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency in response to a Supreme Court order for the release of nine prisoners, which he maintains was part of a “judicial coup” to remove him from office.
Several Special Ops police have been arrested over the past two weeks and soldiers are being held incommunicado in their barracks, the Maldivian Democratic Party said Thursday.
Last Tuesday, former Police Commissioner Ahmed Areef was arrested on coup plot charges. On the day before, the Maldives National Defence Force denied claims by Nasheed that Brigadier General Zakariyya Mansoor had been detained in barracks.
Areef was dismissed hours after police announced it would enforce the February 1 Supreme Court order. The attorney general told the press that President Abdulla Yameen was unable to reach Areef on the phone after the shock ruling.