Connect with us


Weekend roundup: murder suspect found on stranded speedboat

A roundup of top stories over the weekend.



Suspected arrested over 2016 murder

A suspect wanted by the presidential commission on deaths and disappearances in connection with the murder of 14-year-old Fathir Mohamed was arrested in the early hours of Saturday.

According to media reports, Irufan Rushdee was found on a speedboat that was rescued by the military’s coastguard about 12 miles off Kaadehdhoo island in Gaaf Dhaalu atoll after running out of diesel.

The Maldives National Defence Force handed over Irufan to the police along with three others on the fishing boat.

The arrest came a day after the presidential commission appealed for public assistance in locating the suspect. The immigration claimed Irufan had not returned to the country after leaving in 2015 but he was seen on security camera footage of the murder scene in June 2015, the inquiry commission said.

MP Jabir withdraws police complaint against ex-president Gayoom

MP Abdulla Jabir has withdrawn a complaint filed with the police over former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s alleged failure to repay an MVR29 million (US$1.8 million) loan issued during last year’s presidential election campaign.

The former president and leader of the new Maldives Reform Movement denies taking the loan.

Jabir, who won the Kaashidhoo constituency seat as an independent and went on to become leader of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, told the media on Saturday that he has forgiven Gayoom and that he withdrew the complaint at the behest of his mother.

“Maumoon told me that the money was used to bring democracy. So I believe the money was used for the people,” the lawmaker told newspaper Mihaaru.

Five convicted over death of Bangladeshi girl hit by cement bag

Four migrant workers and their Maldivian supervisor were convicted last Thursday on charges raised over the death of a seven-year-old Bangladeshi girl who was hit by a cement bag that fell from a construction site in Malé.

Rajjav Ali, an Indian worker who operated the winch that was used to lift the bag, was found guilty of reckless homicide and sentenced to six years in prison. Muthmani Ramachandran, who was charged as an accomplice for telling Ali to lift up the bags despite being aware that he not tasked with operating the winch line, was sentenced to three years, two months and 12 days.

Both men had been aware of the risk of a cement bag falling on a pedestrian due to the lack of safety measures, Judge Ali Rasheed Hussain noted in the verdict.

Moosa Hassan, the senior site supervisor, was found guilty of negligent homicide over the failure to take safety measures. The offence carries a sentence of one year and seven months but the judge changed the punishment to a fine of MVR115,000 (US$7,458) after the defence lawyer pleaded for leniency and the prosecution did not object.

Kesharirlal Chauhan and Gulam Mahamad, two workers who were putting bags on the sling when the accident occurred, were found guilty over the failure to warn of imminent danger. They were each fined MVR7,200 over the misdemeanour charge.

The cement bag fell from the fifth floor of Maafannu Nalahiya Manzil, a 10-storey building under construction by the W Construction company. Seven-year-old Rawshan Jian was the daughter of two Bangladeshi doctors who were working at the Faafu Nilandhoo island’s health centre. The family was in the capital during their annual holiday.

Inspections of all construction sites in the capital and its suburbs along with a review of safety regulations were launched after horrific video footage of the tragic accident in December sparked public outrage.

According to media reports, the judge decided that Adam Shafeeq, W Construction’s managing director who was also charged with negligent homicide, should not have to bear criminal responsibility as he had not committed any act related to the accident aside from signing the construction agreement.

Fishing boat caught in Indian waters fined under new law

The owner of a Maldivian boat caught illegally fishing in Indian territorial waters earlier this month has been fined MVR50,000 (US$3,243) under the new fisheries law.

It was the first fine issued after a comprehensive new fisheries law was passed by parliament. Fishing beyond the Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone is prohibited as a condition of licenses issued to local boats, the fisheries ministry explained in a statement.

The Anbaree boat was reportedly stopped about three miles off the coast of Minicoy island north of the Maldives. The Indian government later released the 16 crew members on October 7, two days after they were apprehended by the Indian coastguard.

On Twitter over the weekend: