Police searching for Hulhumalé gang rape suspects

Police searching for Hulhumalé gang rape suspects
March 05 19:23 2017

The police are searching for suspects in the alleged gang rape of a 27-year-old woman in the non-residential, industrial area of Hulhumalé, an urban centre under development near Malé.

A police spokeswoman said the incident was reported around 10pm on Thursday night. No arrests have been made so far.

The case is under investigation by the serious and organised crime unit, the police tweeted on Saturday after local media reported the story.

According to Sun Online, the victim lives in the capital’s other suburb Vilimalé. She was found unclothed and stranded on the street by a group passing through the area.

The industrial area is dimly lit and isolated from residential neighbourhoods on the reclaimed island. It is frequented by foreign workers, some of whom are undocumented.

Cases of sexual harassment, attempted abuse and rape of women in the industrial area have been reported in recent months.

In separate incidents last November, two women were assaulted by a Bangladeshi man and dragged into bushes near the Hulhumalé central park. Both women managed to fight their way free.

The incidents prompted the Housing Development Corporation – the state-owned company tasked with developing Hulhumalé – to launch a programme to cut down trees and install street lights in the area.

The rape of a 19-year-old woman in Hulhumalé by a migrant worker in 2013 led the police to search about 2,100 expatriates in an attempt to identify the suspect.

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