Witness: Inaas talked about setting ablaze police speedboat

Moosa Inaas, Kalhaidhoofinihiya, Thundi, L. Gan accused of setting a police surveillance speedboat on fire on March 22, 2020, captured during a hearing in the case on March 9, 2023.

An investigative officer in the case, giving testimony as a witness, has stated that Moosa Inaas talked about setting ablaze a speedboat belonging to Maldives Police Service (MPS).

Moosa Inaas, Kalhaidhoofinihiya, Thundi, L. Gan is accused of setting a police surveillance speedboat on fire on March 22, 2020 as it lay docked in the harbor of Thundi – a district of L. Gan. He was charged with carrying out an act of terrorism under Article 6 (b) of the Counter-Terrorism Act in connection to the case.

In a hearing on the case held on Thursday at the Criminal Court – a Police Officer Ismail Virdhan who was involved in the investigation process gave his testimony.

Virdhan said although he was not included among the initial team of officers investigating the case – he was later added to the team as an investigative officer in May.

He was summoned before the court today to establish the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provided Maldives Police Service with intel regarding the arson attack on the speedboat in addition to be questioned regarding the information provided.

In this regard, FBI had provided MPS with the chat logs of a Telegram account that had been claiming responsibility for the attack. The chat log in question was shared with MPS by another intelligence agency.

Virdhan said that the phone Inaas was in possession of at the time he was arrested contained the corresponding sim card. However, Inaas’ refusal to provide his phone’s lock code resulted in the police being unable to obtain any data from the phone.

“Moosa Inaas told another person that he set ablaze a speedboat in Laamu Atoll. That it was a mission he carried out. That there was an additional mission in connection which he stated he was not partaking in,” he said.

Virdhan added that the chat log evidenced it was Inaas who made these remarks.

Virdhan, underscoring the intel shared by FBI and other foreign intelligence agencies had not uncovered how Inaas had carried out the arson attack, said the police investigation uncovered these details. In this regard, he explained that Inaas caused the fire using a Molotov, made out of a Holsten bottle filled with petrol.

Inaas is an individual implicated in the Sultan’s Park bombing in 2007.

Inaas was sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection to the case. He was incarcerated in Dhoonidhoo Prison during which time he made three failed attempts to break out from prison and swim to Hulhumale’.

Inaas had pled guilty to the charge against him, and was later released after being pardoned.