The state has appealed Criminal Court’s acquittal of rapper Ismail Ifham Mohamed (Pest) on drug trafficking charges.
Pest was one of five suspects arrested by police with 2.5 kilos of drugs in an operation by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) on February 13, 2021.
He was pressed with five charges; trafficking cannabis, using cannabis, trafficking diamorphine (heroin), trafficking a Schedule 1 drug, and use, possession and concealment of assets and money obtained through criminal means.
Criminal Court, on August 24th, acquitted Pest and three other people charged in the case; Mohamed Suaid, Ahmed Husam (Jahulu), and Ahmed Shamoon.
The state has appealed their acquittal to the High Court, which has yet to decide whether to register the appeal or not.
Police say they discovered drugs on him when Pest was arrested, detailing four packets containing drugs were seized from a wallet in his pocket. However, Criminal Court’s Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad, who heard the case, said the drugs discovered on him at the time of arrest did not fall within the limits of trafficking.
While over two kilos of drugs were seized in the case in total, the largest quantity of drugs was discovered inside an apartment where Pest and his friends allegedly resided. The prosecution has stated that Pest’s fingerprint was not recovered from the boxes from which the drugs were discovered except for one of them.
Nevertheless, a fingerprint of only one of Pest’s fingers was recovered from the said box. The defense argued that the apartment housed people other than Pest, while it was also frequented by numerous people. Meanwhile, other fingerprints were discovered from the said box. Hence, the defense criticized the police for not undertaking efforts to identify the individuals to whom those fingerprints belonged.
Apart from the said box, drugs that fall within trafficking limits in the case were only discovered inside a fan. The fan was carried out of the apartment and boarded on a boat. As the police have admitted seizing the fan 24 hours after it was boarded on the boat – the judge highlighted the possibility of other people having access to the fan during the time it was on the boat.
Therewith, the judge decided that the charges against Pest and his friends were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.