Gan, Laamu Atoll – Maldives Police Service has announced that a total of sixteen people have been arrested from Laamu atoll over the hijacking of the ‘Faskuri’ fishing vessel on October 26, 2020.
Maldives Police Service (MPS) told that additional seven people had been arrested under court orders until this afternoon bringing the total number of arrests to sixteen since the vessel was hijacked and taken to Laamu atoll. However, nine people out of the sixteen have been released by the magistrate court when they were brought for remand hearings until today. While police are still investigating the matter, no further details have been given out with regards to the case.
The magistrate court of L. Gan has issued a temporary order for the Faskuri boat to be handed over to the original owner, after the individual filed a complaint with the court regarding an ownership dispute, where the buyer had not completed the payments and had violated the agreement made between both parties during the exchange.
Speaking to local media outlet ‘adduLIVE’ earlier this week, the crew have reported that the hijackers, who came on to the boat a little after midnight on Monday morning carrying knives and swords, demanding that they be shown the way to the captain of the boat. They then threatened the captain with a knife and ordered the boat, which was near the Vadinolhi area of Laamu Atoll at the time, to be turned around and enter the harbor of Gan island of the atoll.
Local media outlet ‘Vaguthu’ reported that the ‘Faskuri’ boat originally belonged to an individual from L. Gan and that it was sold at the price of MVR 7 million two years back to Rich Club Maldives Pvt Ltd, a company owned by Kaashidhoo constituency MP Abdullah Jabir, on a monthly payment basis. The Individual from L. Gan who claims to be the owner of the vessel reportedly told the media outlet that the buyer failed to pay the price and that according to the contract, if two months of payments are missed, the owner had a right to take back the vessel, which he did.
The individual is also reported to have further explained that he only received MVR 700,000 of the total price at which the vessel was agreed. He also is reported to have denied that any of the hijackers who went on board the vessel would have carried weapons and that they simply wanted to take the vessel back in a civil manner as the boat was in the atoll where the actual owner of it is.
Addu City Council had called upon the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed and the Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture to speed up the investigation on the act of terrorism which took place against a group of Addu fishermen.
The Magistrate Court of L. Gan had issued a court order for ‘Faskuri’ fishing vessel to be handed over to the original owner on October 27, 2020 after the owner of the boat, Idhurees Hussain lodged the case at the court. In light of the clauses stated in the contract, the court issued a temporary order for the boat to be handed over to Hussain until a final verdict is issued, during which time no unauthorized access to the boat would be granted. It also stated a third party being on the boat, which are the fishermen who are currently stuck on the boat, must disembark the boat and clear all belongings, which the exception of the equipment within six hours of the court order being issued, as it can be deemed that the fishermen being on the boat may cause irreversible damage to the owner.