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Police deny damaging homes raided for drugs

37 people were arrested during the raids.



The Maldives Police Service have denied trashing two homes that were raided in a drug operation carried out in Malé on Sunday.

A video circulating on social media purporting to show damages was “an attempt to obstruct efforts against drugs,” police tweeted Tuesday, posting a video of police officers sawing open a metal door to enter the Pelican house.

Eleven men between the ages of 19 and 42 along with a 21-year-old woman and two 17-year-olds were arrested from the residence in the Galolhu ward of the capital. Twenty-four men were arrested from the Memory Villa house.

Both buildings were fitted with electrical and mechanical locking systems, police noted.

The criminal court remanded the 35 adults to police custody for three days on Monday night. The two minors were transferred to house arrest.

Police said 81 packets of drugs were confiscated during the raids.

Both houses were also raided earlier this month. Briefing the press, Superintendent Ahmed Shakir, head of the drug enforcement department, said drug dealers “were providing all the services related to buying and using drugs” at the houses.

“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.

Some 158kg of heroin and 65kg of cannabis were seized during operations carried out as of April 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.