The police are conducting a search of a recently uninhabited island in the Maldives’ remote north after a group of boys discovered boxes of non-lethal bullets in an old water well.
Confirming the find, a police spokesman said: “The bullets found were not loaded with gun powder, but ones used in military training exercises.”
The police have declined to name the island involved in the search, but local media have identified it as Kumburudhoo in Haa Dhaal Atoll, an island declared uninhabited in 2011.
The group of boys brought the bullets back to the island of Nolhivaram.
Mariyam Habeeb, a councilor for Nolhivaram, said police officers had traveled to the island on Monday night and “took witness statements from the boys who discovered the items of concern.”
The Maldives National Defence Forces declined to comment.
The bullet find comes months after the discovery of a large cache of arms on an uninhabited island and several bomb scares in the capital Malé during a period of high drama following a mysterious blast on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat.
While four people were arrested over a bomb at the state house Muleeaage, no arrests have been made over the weapons find.
At the time, the MNDF pledged to launch an investigation over the removal of weapons from the state armoury, but the findings have not been made public yet.
The weapons cache included hand grenades, bullets, and improvised explosive devices, and security forces have confirmed that some of the items found were weapons “removed” from the state armory.
Citing national security concerns, Yameen went on to declare an unprecedented state of emergency in early November. Within days, Yameen’s deputy Ahmed Adeeb, the prime suspect in the boat blast, was impeached.
The emergency was lifted six days later.
The government says the explosion on the speedboat on September 28 was an attempt to assassinate the president. Yameen had escaped unhurt, but his wife was hospitalized for months for minor spine injuries.
Parts of non-lethal bullets were discovered on another island earlier this month. Four men were arrested over the incident.
Photo from CNM