Top tourism official, target of boat blast probe, arrested

Top tourism official, target of boat blast probe, arrested
October 23 20:33 2015

Police arrested tonight a top tourism official who has been a main target of the inquiry into an alleged assassination attempt on President Abdulla Yameen.

Abdulla Ziyath, the managing director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), was taken into custody “in connection to a case under investigation” at around 7pm today, the police said.

A spokesman refused to comment on the charges against Ziyath.

Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and his associates have become the main suspects over the September 28 explosion on Yameen’s boat.

Ziyath’s arrest comes a week after police raided his home and shut down the MMPRC offices. Since then, he has been summoned to the police headquarters three times.

Police are investigating the MMPRC’s alleged illegal import of fireworks.

In the first direct move against Adeeb, an inquiry commission set up to investigate the boat blast last week seized CCTV footage at two of his residences in Malé.

Adeeb is in Singapore and is due to return to Malé tomorrow.

Three soldiers have been arrested and the defence minister Moosa Jaleel has been sacked in a shake-up of the security forces.

Several government officials who are seen as loyal to Adeeb have also been dismissed.

Home Minister Umar Naseer has said that a bomb targeting Yameen caused the explosion on the boat. Sri Lankan forensic experts have confirmed that the blast was caused by an explosive device, he said.