Drugs found in u-box: High Court overturns acquittal, issues life sentence

Police scan permits amid tightened restrictions in the Maldivian capital on May 21, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The High Court on Wednesday issued a life sentence to man who was previously acquitted, despite drugs found in the u-box of his motorbike.

Aiham Mohamed, Ma. Ruthu, K. Male’, was arrested from on January 19, 2018, after police found 248 grams of drugs in the u-box of the motorbike he was driving during a stop and search upon arrival in Male’ on a ferry from Hulhumale’ with another individual.

Aiham was charged with trafficking cannabis.

However, he was issued an acquittal by the Criminal Court due to lack of evidence.

The case was appealed by the state with the High Court, which overturned the previous ruling Wednesday.

He was issued the life sentence and fined MVR 100,000.

The High Court found that while Aiham claimed the drugs found in the u-box did not belong to him, it had been he who loaded the motorbike on to the ferry and unloaded it. The court decided it was unlikely someone else had planted the drugs in the u-box in the 20-30 minutes the motorbike had been on the ferry, as the drugs had been under a helmet.

The court cited precedence set by the Supreme Court, and found that primary responsibility for the drugs fell on Aiham under the circumstances.

The case was heard by a bench of three judges; Hussain Mazid, Huzaifa Mohamed, and Dheebanaz Fahmy.