Soldiers raid a Maldives resort under development

Soldiers raid a Maldives resort under development
October 22 19:17 2015

Dozens of soldiers raided an island in central Lhaviyani Atoll that is being developed as a resort today. A military spokesman said the raid was “routine, and not related to the ongoing inquiry” into an explosion on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat.

The island, Huravalhi, is leased to the influential tourism firm Champa Brothers, according to publicly available records.

Mohamed ‘Uchu’ Moosa, a Champa Brothers partner, is a close associate of Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, an apparent target in the probe into the alleged assassination attempt.

Opposition-aligned Raajje TV said a source familiar with the matter had said the soldiers had searched for explosives.

A security expert who was reluctant to give his name told The Maldives Independent: “This is highly unusual. Soldiers are only involved in raids if it is to do with firearms and ordinances.”

In the first direct move against Adeeb, police last night seized footage of the security cameras at the entrance to the building where his second wife resides. According to local media, police had also seized footage from Rehendhi flats, where Adeeb frequently holds meetings.

The vice president has delayed his arrival in Malé after concluding an official visit to China. He is currently in Singapore, according to multiple credible sources.

The police are meanwhile investigating the state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation’s (MMPRC) illegal import of a fireworks shipment.

Soldiers inspected the MMPRC’s fireworks shipment in Hulhumalé and raided its offices last weekend. The premises are still sealed off.

Abdulla Ziyath, the managing director MMPRC, is also under fire. His home was raided and he has been questioned by the police three times.

Top government officials, seen as loyal to Adeeb, have been dismissed or have left the country.

Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed and parliament’s Majority Leader Ahmed Nihan abruptly left the Maldives on Tuesday night.

The Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin and Auditor General Hassan Ziyath are also out of the country on unannounced trips.

Presidential affairs minister Mohamed Hussain Shareef ‘Mundhu’ resigned today.