R. Atoll operation: 1 suspect released, rest remain detained

Police officers raid a residence linked with religious extremists in R. Maduvvari on December 18, 2019. (Photo/Maduvvari Online)

The court has granted conditional release to one of the six suspects arrested in the police operation in R. Atoll in June.

The police operation in islands of R. Atoll took place on June 23, and was launched in response to a group of separatists in an uninhabited island in the atoll engaged in crimes including organized robberies and damage to properties in residential and resort islands.

A police spokesperson said at the time that the police had received reports of a group of people living in an uninhabited island in R. Atoll without taking permission from relevant authorities despite the ban on travel amid the state of public health emergency to curb the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

The spokesperson said police officers from across R. Atoll had been mobilized to respond to crimes committed by the separatist group operating out of the uninhabited island.

Six people were arrested in the operation; a 23-year-old man, a 24-year-old man, a 25-year-old man, a 28-year-old man, a 33-year-old man, and a 36-year-old man.

All six suspects were identified as Maldivian citizens.

They were remanded in custody of the police for seven days by a court on June 24.

Maldives Police Service issued a statement on Thursday afternoon announcing that the suspects were taken to the court for an extension to their remand period on Wednesday.

“The 28-year-old suspect was granted conditional release. The rest of the suspects have been remanded in custody for the investigation in a place determined by Ministry of Home Affairs for eight days,” said the police.

Some of the suspects in the case were arrested from R. Ungoofaaru. And the police said in a statement following the operation that the police searched and seized evidence from the uninhabited they operated out of, along with three properties linked with the suspects in R. Maduvvari, an island that was the scene of a similar operation in late December.