A Swiss national, detained on charges of attempting to smuggle cocaine into the Maldives, has died in Maafushi Prison. Peter Thomas Duss, aged 59, lost consciousness in his cell and was declared dead on Tuesday afternoon, despite attempts to resuscitate him at the prison’s medical center.

Duss had been remanded since 23 February, following his arrest at the Maldives airport where authorities discovered cocaine concealed in a false bottom of his luggage. A subsequent control delivery operation led to the apprehension of two individuals connected to the case. The Criminal Court ordered his detention under the Criminal Procedure Act No. 12/2016.

The Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) confirmed Duss’s death, stating that they had immediately informed relevant authorities, including the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives and the National Integrity Commission. The MCS also noted that they had not recorded any health issues for Duss prior to the incident.

This incident marks the second death of a foreign national in Maafushi Prison this year, following the death of a 29-year-old Bangladeshi man, convicted of sexual misconduct, in April.

The circumstances of Duss’s death are under investigation, with the MCS communicating with his family and international authorities.