Resorts owned by opposition leader Gasim Ibrahim are running out of alcohol as authorities are only releasing it to one of his properties, the Villa Group said Thursday.
The alcohol importing license for all Villa holiday properties, except Royal Island Resort, was revoked last year. Villa had been importing alcohol to Royal and transferring the stock to its other resorts.
But authorities raided the resorts and confiscated alcohol from them last month, ultimately revoking Royal Island’s license.
Qaisar Naseem, the general manager of Villa Hotels and Resorts, told Mihaaru that even though the Economic Ministry had given the group a temporary permit to import alcohol and pork, Maldives Customs was only releasing these items to Royal Island.
He said the alcohol stock at Sun Island and Paradise Island was almost gone and that tourists were complaining over the booze shortage.
“Beer is almost completely drained from some resorts,” Qaisar said.
The government offered a temporary permit to the company following raids, protests, tit-for-tat accusations and negotiations. This permit expires next Monday.
In a separate development, the Villa Group has reportedly paid part of the US$ 5.1 million owed in unpaid taxes dating back to March 2017.
According to SunOnline, the company has paid US$ 1.22 million that were owed as green taxes.