Sunday 21st Jul 2024
Dhivehi Edition
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Criminal Court

Charges Dismissed in Case of Smuggling Drugs in Chocolate Packet

The Criminal Court dismissed charges against a foreign woman accused of smuggling drugs into Maldives.
The person charged in the case was 50-year-old Ecuadorian Maria Iugenia. Upon her arrival in Maldives in 2019, 40 pills were found in a box of chocolates in her luggage.
The substances seized at the airport were sealed with chocolate wrappers. Maria claimed that they do not belong to her.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Judge Mohamed Misbah considered a statement from Maria before court proceedings began, and decided not to pursue the matter further.
Maria stated she was unaware of the chocolate packet in her bag, and that it was not hers.
According to regulations set by the Supreme Court of Maldives, a suspect can be charged with possession of narcotics if further fact, proof, or motive is provided connecting the suspect to the drugs or proof that the suspect was aware they were in possession of the drugs.
The decision made by Judge Misbah based on the Supreme Court's ruling declared that a suspect is considered to be in possession of a substance if the suspect is proven to be aware of their possession or if further proof is provided connecting the suspect to the substance.
The decision also stated that none of the facts presented prove that Maria was aware of the substance in her possession.
The court observed that none of the facts prove that Maria knew the chocolate packet was in her possession. The judge decided not to pursue the matter further for those reasons.
The Prosecutor General's Office revealed to some media outlets that instead of appealing the court’s decision, they are working on deporting Maria.