The Maldives Police Service and Maldives Customs Service have conducted a series of successful operations, confiscating over 16.69 kilogrammes of illicit substances within 72 hours. The seized narcotics, as per the Minister of Homeland Security and Technology, Ali Ihusaan, hold a street value of around MVR 21.6 million.

The “intelligence-led” operation underscores the government’s commitment to President Mohamed Muizzu’s vision of a drug-free Maldives, he said. The police, however, have yet to release comprehensive details regarding the nature and origin of the seized narcotics.

In a related incident on Sunday, two individuals were detained in Majeedhee Magu, suspected of peddling. This arrest is believed to be part of the ongoing operation. The police have recorded a total of 410 narcotics-related cases this year, with a staggering 130 cases reported in March alone.

This substantial narcotics seizure occurs amidst growing public concern and dissatisfaction with perceived governmental negligence and inaction in addressing the escalating drug crisis. Social media platforms have recently been inundated with images and videos of individuals, allegedly under the influence of narcotics, some even during the daytime hours of Ramadan.

The government had earlier established a special task force to address the issue. Minister Ihusaan disclosed earlier that customs authorities have intensified efforts to halt drug trafficking through postal services, and the ministry is collaborating with international intelligence agencies to prevent maritime drug trafficking.

To further curb drug trafficking, the government plans to mandate the installation of tracking devices on all marine vessels. This measure aims to monitor vessel movements and prevent narcotics trafficking to the outer islands.