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News in brief: fraudulent work permits seized

Suspect arrested over drug bust at sea.



Maldives immigration confiscated fraudulent work visas and arrested a foreign national on Monday night.

The immigration department did not reveal the nationality or other details. He was arrested while trying to smuggle fraudulent work visas into the country, immigration said.

In September, immigration officers stopped 11 people with fraudulent passports. The same month, the department was in hot water for deporting two Bangladeshis suspected of human trafficking and money laundering without an investigation.

A suspect related to the drug bust at sea was arrested on Monday night from Dhiffushi island in Kaafu atoll.

A boat en route from Pakistan was stopped in Maldivian waters after the coastguard was alerted by Indian security agencies. Police chief Mohamed Hameed said the street value of the seized drugs was close to MVR60 million (US$3.8 million). About 70kg of drugs in three sacks have been found so far, police said on Tuesday, which was lower than the 150kg reported in India media.

The man arrested from Dhiffushi is reportedly the son of the owner of a Maldivian fishing boat called Heydhakuri-7 that was also seized by the coastguard. Intelligence information suggested the local boat was travelling to collect the drug shipment, according to the Maldives National Defence Force.

Forty-five Maldivian soldiers are taking part in the tenth edition of the Indo-Maldives joint military exercise “Ekuverin” in Pune, India.

According to the Indian Express, soldiers are the Maldives National Defence Force’s marines and 45 Indian soldiers from the Mahar Regiment of the Indian Army are taking part in the drills. The 14-day exercise focus on counter-terrorism drills on sub-unit level exercises and joint operations, according to the Indian Army.

Hotel Asia Exhibition, the country’s biggest hospitality fairopened on Monday.

The three-day exhibition features products from Maldivian and international hospitality companies, and hosts an international culinary challenge.