Investigative blunders free man arrested in 2019 drug trafficking case

Criminal Court. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The Criminal Court has acquitted a Maldivian man accused of smuggling over a kilo of drugs into Maldives via air.

The man was charged with drug trafficking after authorities found 1,475.8 grams of diamorphine (heroin) from his luggage upon arrival in Male’ on a SriLankan Airlines flight on August 16, 2019.

The Criminal Court issued its ruling in the case on Thursday.

The man has claimed that the cardboard from which the drugs were found had been handed to him by another person, and that he had no knowledge it contained drugs.

The court found the state failed to establish he had been aware the cardboard box contained drugs.

The court also found there were investigative blunders in the case, including failure to establish the chain of custody of the evidence bag containing the drugs.

The police admitted a person whose name had not been added to chain of custody documentation had handled the evidence.

Judge Adam Mohamed therefore issued the man an acquittal.