The Prosecutor General’s Office has levied charges against four suspects over the murder of a local youth, Nadeem Abdul Raheem, which has been confirmed as an act of vengeance.
The 24 year old man of Haa Alif atoll Thakandhoo island was attacked by a gang inside a cafe in capital Male on July 27. He was being treated for stab wounds to his head before he passed away on July 29.
The suspects indicted in the case are Mohamed Mafaaz of Male, Ali Nifaz of Laamu atoll Gan island, Hussain Samih of Raa atoll Innamaadhoo island, and a minor. One of the suspects is charged with first degree murder while the others are charged as accomplices.
In a press conference held Wednesday, Maldives Police Service stated that the charges were forwarded to the Criminal Court a week prior.
Station Inspector Mohamed Samih, speaking on behalf of the Major Crimes Management Centre, revealed that Nadeem’s murder was an act of vengeance, stemming from a series of gang violence incidents. The crime was preplanned and the perpetrators had arrived on motorcycles at the café to attack Nadeem, he said.
Samih elaborated that Nadeem had been stabbed in the head by his left ear, and the murder weapon was collected as evidence from the scene of the crime.
“I note that the weapon used in the attack was a kitchen knife,” he revealed.
According to the station inspector, the perpetrators had also attempted to attack another individual who was in the café with Naeem.
“They didn’t succeed in that because [the would-be victim] and other people inside the café did everything possible to stop them,” said Samih, adding that the struggle had caused much damage to some of the cafe’s properties as well.
While the perpetrators had covered their faces during the crime, they were apprehended after Police viewed 60 hours of surveillance footage and gathered information from other sources. The first suspect was arrested on August 11.
Samih went on to say that Nadeem Abdul Raheem did not have a criminal record, unlike the four suspects charged with his murder. Notably, Mohamed Mafaaz was named in the police’s list of Dangerous Criminals with a long record of violent attacks. He had also been tagged with an ankle monitor under the Anti-Terrorism Act’s MoniCon order during the tenure of Umar Naseer, the former home minister. He was prosecuted for violating the MoniCon order and later released after serving a jail sentence, according to Police.