A “fake” bomb found at the powerhouse in northern Haa Alif Ihavandhoo caused a scare last night. Powerhouse employees found the device near the engine room with smoke coming out of it.
“It was made of plastic bottles and foil was wrapped around it. One of our employees noticed fire inside the engine room and went in to inspect,” an employee who wished to remain anonymous told The Maldives Independent.
The employee suggested that the bomb hoax might have been provoked by a temporary power cut on the island.
“We cut power from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to do maintenance work. Maybe the people who did this got angry because of this,” he said.
A police spokesperson said the incident is under investigation. No arrests have been made yet.
Home Minister Umar Naseer had previously said that the government will take “bomb spoof” cases as a serious issue.
Naseer vowed to prosecute the perpetrators under stringent new anti-terrorism laws after several fake bombs were found in Malé last month.
Three bomb scares were reported in the capital after President Abdulla Yameen declared an unprecedented nationwide state of emergency in early November.
A bundle of wires wrapped under parts of a computer was found in the bonnet of an abandoned car whilst wires wrapped around a mobile phone was found in Malé’s port area.
The home ministry said the objects, which looked like improvised explosive devices, were left in public spaces in an attempt to incite fear and create panic.
“We will take the harshest action against those who are creating panic, and we consider such acts to be terrorism,” the ministry said at the time.
Meanwhile, on November 1, the military announced the discovery of a bomb made of stick dynamite hidden in a lorry near the official presidential residence.
The military’s bomb disposal unit defused the improvised explosive device at the sports complex in the capital after evacuating the area.
The incident followed the discovery of a large weapons cache from an uninhabited island. Some of the weapons included guns gone missing from the state armoury.
Yameen had declared the 30-day emergency, which he lifted six days later, citing fears of imminent attacks after the discovery of the weapons and explosives.