Over 100 vehicles registered to the name of suspect arrested for stealing two cars

A traffic police officer on the streets of Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Police Service, on Thursday, revealed they had uncovered a huge vehicle theft network during their efforts to recover a car belonging to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL)’s managing director which was stolen while parked at Velana International Airport (VIA).

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Dawood detailed that the investigation found that the stolen car was first driven to Hulhumale’ and parked near the Orange building close to Villa Petrol Shed – where the number plates were changed.

The car was then driven to Male’ and parked inside a garage located on the ground floor of H. Iram, the recent location of a fire, said Dawood.

In light of the findings, Police searched the premises in the presence of the person renting the garage. During the search, they found the stolen vehicle in question, and another four-wheeled vehicle was reported stolen earlier from Maldives Immigration. 

“We have learned that the suspect is scratching the engine number and chassis number to disguise the origins of the vehicles and conducting this business on a largescale in Male’,”

Maldives Police Service holds a press conference on June 13, 2024. (Sun Photo/Aman Latheef)

The suspect arrested in the case was Ahmed Nizam, 43, M. Modern Comet. According to the Police, an additional suspect, Mohamed Haisham, 42, M. Seeni Asurumage – a MACL employee – who aided in the theft of the managing director’s car, has also been arrested.

According to Dawood, a total of 100 vehicles have been registered in Nizam’s name. 86 of them are four-wheeled vehicles. He detailed that the vehicles were registered between Dawood and his wife, who had 42 vehicles registered to her name.

“We have also noticed vehicles have been registered via Transport (Ministry) for non-corresponding years such as 2025, 2026, and 2027 prior to 2023, and in this regard registries issued,” he added.

Henceforth, the Police are conducting a serious investigation into the case.

Dawood said the Police have sought charges against Nizam with the Prosecutor General’s Office. Meanwhile, an investigation is underway to identify the Transport Ministry staff involved in the case.

Police have said it is unclear how many vehicles have exactly been stolen, as false registries have been issued after scratching the engine and chassis numbers.