Accidents Crime Drug trafficking Fire

Drugs wash ashore from stranded Iranian boat

Packages of illicit narcotics from an Iranian boat that ran aground in the northernmost atoll started washing ashore Thursday night.

The boat ran aground on a reef near the Innafinolhu island in Haa Alif atoll. Its eight crewmembers were caught by the coastguard while attempting to flee after setting the stranded vessel on fire.

According to local media, a large amount of drugs were found on the boat. Well-packed cans and containers, as well as debris from the boat, later washed ashore on the beach of the nearby Uligamu island.

Two large packets were found on the beach of Molhadhoo island in Haa Alif atoll around 7 am Saturday morning.

Police have also been searching uninhabited islands in the region.

The Maldives National Defence Force was alerted to the foreign vessel on Thursday morning by fishermen from the northern atoll.

In March 2014, some 24kg of heroin was smuggled in a vessel registered in Iran.

Two Maldivian men were found guilty over the smuggling and sentenced to life imprisonment in April last year. They were the only ones to stand trial of the 18 suspects taken into custody, including 11 Pakistanis, four Maldivians, and three Bangladeshis.

The Pakistanis were later deported and the other suspects were released due to lack of evidence.

The country’s biggest drug haul came in 2006 when 1.6 tonnes of cannabis was found submerged in the lagoon of an island in Alif Alif atoll.

No arrests were made and police destroyed the stash two years later.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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