The Maldives Police Service has announced the arrest of two individuals linked to a network of Telegram channels used to conduct a range of illegal activities. 

The arrested, a 28-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman, are accused of facilitating drug dealing, money laundering, and prostitution through channels named Jazeera Admin, Jazeera Girls, Jazeera Escort Gallery, Jazeera Scam Alert, and Jazeera Link News, all of which have now been seized by the authorities.

This operation marks a pivotal moment in the fight against cyber-enabled crime, highlighting the emerging challenges law enforcement agencies face in monitoring and prosecuting illegal activities conducted on encrypted messaging platforms. 

The police’s Cyber Policing Centre led the investigation, culminating in searches across four locations and the seizure of numerous items now under forensic examination.

The duo faces charges encompassing money laundering, drug trafficking, prostitution, solicitation, and the production and distribution of pornography. Their financial transactions reportedly indicate incomes vastly exceeding their legitimate earnings, highlighting the lucrative nature of their illegal operations. 

Initially remanded for five days, their custody has been extended for another 30 days as investigations proceed.