Ex-home minister Umar Naseer said he has been placed under police protection after receiving death threats from a group of unidentified men carrying knives.
The outspoken politician, who had declared his candidacy for the presidential elections in 2018 earlier this month, tweeted about the incident in the early hours of Sunday.
“Around 1am tonight, 3 gang members approached my office, threatened my security, warned of a knife attack & went away. Case reported to MPS [Maldives Police Service],” he wrote at 1.51 am.
In an interview with Sun Online, Naseer claimed the group were a part of a criminal gang.
“The three people showed up with the knife while my security guards were outside Sakeena Manzil [Naseer’s residence]. They used foul language and asked, ‘You are Umar Naseer’s security guards, aren’t you? He tried to tag us. We will kill him,” he was quoted as saying.
Naseer tweeted on Sunday night: “Police have provided personal security to me. Thank you MPS.”
During his tenure as home minister, Naseer had sought surveillance orders on more than a dozen young men using anti-terror legislation. He had drawn criticism for his heavy-handed approach to tackling crime.
President Abdulla Yameen stripped Naseer of the authority to seek monitoring and control or monicon orders in June following the tagging of a notorious gangster, Ali ‘Sato’ Shan.
Days later, Naseer resigned on June 21 citing differences with Yameen. Shortly afterwards, he announced that he would contest against Yameen if a primary is held within the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives.
Soon after his resignation, in an interview with the Maldives Independent, he said that he had the backing of “the most senior politician in the country.”
Naseer was not available for comment at the time of going to press.