President Abdulla Yameen has appointed a new police chief more than a month after sacking the former commissioner of police on an allegation of politicising the police force.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef was appointed as police commissioner on Thursday.
Areef, who had headed the police intelligence directorate, was promoted from deputy to assistant commissioner at the time he was placed in charge of the police force on October 23.
The decision came in the wake of an explosion on Yameen’s speedboat on September 23 and the detention of former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
Yameen claims Adeeb blocked the inquiry into the boat blast by bribing the police force. Former police chief Hussein Waheed and his deputies were sacked.
Yameen in a public address said the removal of the police chief and his deputies was prompted by “the extent of the vice president’s influence” inside the police force.
After Areef’s appointment, he shuffled the heads of police departments as part of an effort “to improve the quality of the police’s services to the public and to increase the public’s trust and confidence.”
The former head of the drug enforcement department, Superintendent Ahmed Shifan, was put in charge of the strategy and legal department.
Superintendent Moosa Ali replaced Shifan as the new head of the DED.
Shifan, who was also the police spokesperson, was replaced by Assistant Commissioner Abdulla Nawaz.
Other changes include the appointment of Superintendent Hussain Rasheed as the new head of the general investigation department. He was previously the head of the strategy and legal department.
Assistant Commissioner Abdul Mannan Yousuf was appointed as the head of the commissioner’s bureau. Assistant Commissioners Farhad Fikury and Ali Shujau were put in charge of the information and communication technology directorate and the divisional operations command, respectively.
Since Areef took over, the police force has threatened to take disciplinary action against police officers who publish, share, or like political posts on social media.