A taxi driver who was found dead in the capital’s suburb Hulhumalé was fatally stabbed during an attempted robbery, police revealed in a press briefing on Tuesday.
Gasim Hassan, 59, was found lying in a pool of blood near the central park on the night of December 4. The murder weapon was found in roadside bushes and police retrieved fingerprint and DNA evidence from the crime scene.
A 21-year-old suspect confessed to the murder after he was arrested last Thursday night. The clothes he wore on the night of the murder were also recovered near the crime scene.
Adhuham Mohamed, who has a criminal record for drug abuse and robbery, cooperated with the investigation and confessed to a criminal court judge at his remand hearing, Superintendent Hassan Shifau, head of the serious and organised crime department, told reporters.
According to the events recounted at the briefing, Adhuham entered Gasim’s taxi at the airport and asked to be dropped off in Hulhumalé. When the car neared the drop off point, Adhuham grabbed the elderly driver by the neck and threatened him with a knife in an attempt to rob him. But Gasim resisted, screamed and tried to escape.
Adhuham claimed to have stabbed Gasim in the neck to prevent him from escaping, insisting that he had not intended to commit murder.
According to his confession, Adhuham had been on the prowl for a robbery victim after using drugs with a group of friends in Hulhumalé earlier in the day. He got the knife from a café with the excuse of filleting fish and kept it hidden in his jeans. Unable to find a victim in Hulhumalé due to patrolling police officers, Adhuham went to Hulhulé and looked for an elderly driver to target from the airport taxi queue.
When he was first dropped off near the halfway house for recovering addicts, Adhuham claimed not to have the card needed to enter the building and asked to be taken to another house. This was done in an attempt to stall and find the right time for the robbery without any witnesses. Adhuham started threatening Gasim when they reached the halfway house road for the second time.
Adhuham stabbed Gasim once in the neck after repeatedly failing to quiet him. Gasim also clutched the knife blade with his hands during the stabbing. After leaving the scene, Adhuham buried his shirt and hid the knife. He borrowed a shirt from a friend and took the ferry to Malé.