Police have downplayed the scale of ‘party drug’ abuse in the Maldives, dismissing rumours it is being distributed in schools and appealing against sensationalist reporting.
Following the death of two young people late last month, messages about “Strawberry Quick meth” being distributed in schools started circulating through Viber groups, the common medium of messaging in the Maldives. But the message is an urban myth dating back to 2007 globally.
In a press statement released Monday on Twitter, police said cases involving party drugs were not commonly reported.
“Additionally, while news medias and social media are spreading that party drugs is very common in the Maldives, we assure you that such cases are not commonly submitted to the police. And we’d like to use this opportunity to say that the stories about party drugs being distributed in local schools are also false information. So we would like to advise that no one should spread information that incites fear in the hearts of the public.”
Police also said they were looking into the case of “party drugs” confiscated from Addu City and that they were waiting for official lab results confirming the type of drugs seized.
Urging the public to report cases of drugs police said that drug-related crimes were a priority and that they were working with stakeholders both locally and internationally to solve these cases.
There were two sudden and unexplained deaths in Hulhumalé in September.
Ahmed Haameen, a 22-year-old from the island of Thimarafushi in Thaa atoll, and 18-year-old Fathmath Sama, from the capital Malé, died at Hulhumalé beach after renting a guesthouse room for a birthday party.
Initial reports suggested Sama had drowned and that Haameen died after complaining of chest pains following a football match. But media focus later shifted to a suspected overdose or complications from using party drugs. Police found party drugs in the guesthouse room.