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Police call for public vigilance over allegations of criminals posing as officers

Maldives on 16 June 2013
Location : Maldives | Source : Minivan News. Image Source: Minivan News

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has alleged that criminals have been posing as police officers in Addu City for the last two weeks in order to commit robberies.

In light of the allegations, authorities are warning members of the public to request the ID of any officer approaching them for questioning or to conduct a search.

However, Addu City Council today alleged that it had not been informed of any cases where thieves were posing as police in the municipality, but had received multiple complaints of plain clothes officers searching people and private property without a warrant or ID.

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

Police are working to identify those who are posing as police in order to commit robberies, though no arrests have been made so far, the official continued.

However, police claim that no complaints have been lodged regarding reports of officers refusing to show their identification when requested by the public in Addu City.

In an official statement published yesterday (June 15), police reiterated 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.

The robberies were suspected of having been committed as part of attempts to defame the reputation of the police in Addu as officers continue with an operation designed to curb crime in the city, the statement added.

As part of this operation, a task force consisting of 50 Special Operations (SO) police arrived in the atoll on January 17, 2013 and were supposed to remain only until April 17 this year, Addu City Council has previously claimed. However, these SO force have remained in Addu City, targeting those allegedly involved in drug and gang issues.

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