Drug and gang crimes linked to political motives, financial gain

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said political motives and financial gain are involved in drugs and gang crimes in the Maldives. The President made the statement while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Viavathi Raajje Conference on Saturday.

The President said that the two biggest problems faced by the Maldives are drugs and gang crimes, and described them as national issues. There are political intentions and financial gain involved in the crimes, and are organized, he said.

The President said these issues are major social issues that needs to be addressed with great priority. He said it was important to discuss the issue extensively at the Viavathi conference.

"...This is a challenging and difficult task. It is imperative to expand the discussions at this conference. I think it will shorten the path to finding a solution and accelerate the results," he said.

The President said another major problem faced by the Maldives is climate change. Erosion, flooding, and sea swells are the closest threats to the islands, he said.

President Solih said that environmental damage and its adverse impacts are linked with every development project. He said projects undertaken in the name of development must not be an obstacle to development.

"The conference starting today is a forum to discuss these issues. It is part of the process of finding solutions. I have no doubt that you [councilors] will find all the answers we need for the time being through your discussions," he said.

One of the objectives of the Viavathi conference is to further strengthen the efforts of President Solih to enhance the decentralization system and empower councils. The conference will also provide an opportunity for the President and relevant ministers to discuss issues and find solutions.