Maldivians arrested from Malaysia freed, police probe continues

Malaysian police take away some people arrested from a terror ring during a major bust in August 2017.

Malaysian police take away some people arrested from a terror ring during a major bust in August 2017.

Mihaaru has found that the two Maldivians, who were arrested last month from a Malaysian terror ring while attempting to reach Syria, have been released from police custody after their extradition.

The 29-year-old and 33-year-old were arrested on August 7 in an operation conducted by Malaysian Police after gathering intelligence on a potential terrorist attack in Malaysia. However, the two Maldivian men were not directly involved in the terrorist activities, and authorities have stated that the duo were arrested for using Malaysia and Singapore as a transit point to depart to Syria.

According to a credible source, the police investigation of the case is underway. Despite the ongoing probe, the duo were released due to lack of enough evidence to hold them in custody as per the Criminal Procedure Act.

Malaysian media reports that the two individuals were working in the country as maintenance men for air conditioners. While authorities did not reveal their names, some news outlets reported that the men were apprehended from Johor Bahru, the southernmost tip of the Malaysian peninsula.

A number of Maldivians have already taken part in the ongoing civil war in Syria, with several apprehended en route. Some locals repatriated to the Maldives have been prosecuted, with a number of trials still ongoing, as it is a criminal offence to take part in any conflicts or wars outside of the nation under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. People who join terrorist organisations also face prosecution under this law.

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