Vice President Faisal Naseem has tonight met with a delegation of officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States and the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The meeting was held at the official residence of the Vice President, Hilaaleege.
Highlighting the current drug trafficking situation in the country, the Vice President stated that this administration gives high priority to narcotics rehabilitative programs to foster a drug-free society. Further discussions were held on the challenges in preventing drug trafficking into the country; effectively utilizing the budget and resources of Maldives Police Service (MPS); strengthening MPS' management framework and capacity.
The delegation from the DEA and AFP briefed Vice President Faisal Naseem on the current activities of the DEA and updates from their respective regions. The DEA affirmed their commitment to assist the MPS and commended the MPS for their work in counter-narcotics. They discussed ways to improve the professionalism of the MPS officers in dealing with the public through further training. They also discussed the meeting the DEA held with the Maldives' Minister of Health. Officials from the DEA and AFP presented approaches to cooperate in this area, including providing reference materials on prevention programs developed by the institutions and assisting in conveying the seriousness of the issues to relevant embassies in order to obtain additional relevant assistance for the Ministry of Health.
The Vice President was assured by the DEA and AFP that they would work closely with the pertinent authorities to make the region less vulnerable to drug smuggling and trafficking. They also assured Vice President Faisal Naseem that they were ready to assist any effort to eliminate or reduce drug-related cases in the region.
Concluding the meeting, the Vice President commended the delegation for supporting relevant agencies to enhance their services by reflecting the expertise of the DEA and AFP. He said the administration's policies were centred on combatting drug addiction, stopping all forms of narcotics peddling and trafficking, and providing drug-addiction treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration back into society. He reiterated that alleviating the drug abuse problem is a top priority of the administration.
The Commissioner of Police, Mohamed Hameed, and senior MPS officials were also present during the meeting tonight.