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Two arrested over MIFCO van robbery

Masked men stole MVR2 million from the MIFCO van last Wednesday.



Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the theft of MVR2 million (US$129,700) from employees of the state-owned Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company last week.

Two male suspects aged 19 and 23 were arrested on Saturday, police said. The criminal court has since remanded the 19-year-old to 15 days in custody and the second suspect is due to be taken to court on Sunday.

The money was stolen after a group of helmeted and masked men on motorbikes stopped a MIFCO van on Malé’s outer ring road around 3pm last Wednesday.

A driver and two MIFCO employees had been heading to the airport with money owed to fishermen, a MIFCO official told Raajje.

One of the men smashed a window with an axe and the driver and two employees sustained injuries during the robbery.

There has been a spate of street robberies in the capital and its suburb Hulhumalé in recent weeks.

On Thursday, the police spokeswoman urged businesses and individuals to seek assistance in transferring large sums of cash.

Earlier this month, four men were arrested on suspicion of stabbing an Indian national and stealing MVR2.3 million (US$149,000) in cash near the State Bank of India in Malé.

Six suspects are now in custody, police said on Sunday. They include two men aged 23, one man aged 21, and three minors.

The victim was on the way to the bank to deposit money from BMH traders when he was attacked by four suspects on motorbikes who were wearing helmets.

The robbery occurred on the first day new rules on mandatory helmet use on the capital’s Sinamalé bridge and Hulhumalé highway come into force.