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No complaints received of officers withholding identification in Addu City: PIC

Maldives on 18 June 2013
Location : Maldives | Source : Minivan News. Image Source: Minivan News

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has said no complaints have been received of officers in Addu City refusing to provide a warrant or identification while conducting searches on members of the public or their private property.

Addu City’s Mayor yesterday (June 16) alleged he had received multiple complaints that plain clothes officers who refused to provide either identification or a warrant were searching members of the public in the streets and in their homes.

The allegations were raised following the Maldives Police Service (MPS) warning issued Saturday (June 15) claiming criminals had been posing as officers in the Addu City area for the last two weeks in order to commit robberies.

PIC Director General Fathimath Sareera Ali Shareef told Minivan News today that as the commission had received no reports of officers failing to provide their identification or a warrant during searches,  it would not be investigating allegations against officers in Addu City.

“We would only look into the issue if there were complaints made of police doing wrong,” she said.

Shareef added that while the PIC had been made aware of the reports of criminals posing as officers in Addu, the matter was a criminal investigation and therefore the responsibility of the police.

“We understand that these robberies involve members of the public posing as police. I would hope no officers were involved in this,” she said.

A police media official meanwhile confirmed yesterday that investigations were under way in Addu City into several separate incidents where individuals falsely claiming to be officers searched members of the public in the street or at their homes before robbing them of valuables.

Police were presently working to identify the individuals accused of posing as police in order to commit robberies, though no arrests have been made at the time, the official added.

A statement released by authorities on the weekend said that all genuine officers – even those on duty in plain clothes – are required to carry their police identification. The public was therefore encouraged to ask officers to see such documentation when they were being searched or questioned.

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