Male’, Maldives – RIX company of MP Ali Riza of Milandhoo constituency, which was tasked with developing a resort at B. Bodufinolhu has been charged with serious human trafficking allegations by Maldives Police Service
The issue first caught wind in public as news broke out of some 200 strong group of expatriates held 13 locals hostage on an island of Seal Maldives, being developed as a resort. As details came in, it was known that the expatriates were demanding salaries of several months, which lead to unrest on the island and saw the hostage situation with local employees of the company hostages.
Speaking about the matter being investigated by the Human Trafficking department of Maldives Police Service, the institution revealed that RIX company is suspected of carrying out exploitation acts by forcing expatriates, carrying out acts which lead to human trafficking and not paying the dues to the government on behalf of the workers resulting in violation of worker rights.
Further, the allegations also detailed that the company has conned may foreign workers, and brought in workers into the country against the regulations set out by the country, after being tasked with developing the resort, which is also classified as human trafficking.
Police added on to the accusations that the company is also believed to be responsible for identifying undocumented or trafficked foreign workers from different islands, who where then relocated to the island under the watch of the company to work in inhumane conditions and exploiting the forced situation of the workers and denying wage for the work done by them.
As allegations against the company pile on, it has also come to light that the company threatened to remove any worker who demanded salaries and wages, from employment.
MP Riza and RIX company lawyers addressed the allegations against them by stating that the company was unable to pay the waged of employees as it had not received the relevant payment from Seal company, something which Seal company has denied.
Lawyers of Seal company defended themselves by revealing that the amount payable to RIX company upon completion of all work is MVR 12,332,765. However, the company claims that it has already paid MVR 21,773,338.21 has been paid to RIX as of now.
RIX has also released a statement stating that the funding required to pay the employees of RIX company has to be borne by Seal, to which Seal has retaliated saying that the agreement between both companies dictate that “All work related to providing the monthly wage, insurance, medication and visa of all contract employees must be borne by the contractor”.
While both companies refuse to take responsibility of the heinous acts that have taken place, 19 expatriates who orchestrated the hostage situation in B. Bodufinolhu have been arrested while others still remain on the island. However, RIX now claims that the company does not have any documents detailing who the people on the island are, and hence has refused to take custody of the workers on the island.