Addu fishermen to take to roads against hijacking

Vehicle round poster by fishermen of Addu City | Photo: Open source

Addu City, Maldives – Local fishermen of Addu City have organized a vehicle round in protest against piracy, hijacking and terrorism, after a fishing vessel crewed by Addu fishermen was hijacked in Laamu Atoll.

The vehicle round is scheduled to start from Hithadhoo harbor, on Friday evening at 15:30, and participants are requested to wear helmets and masks throughout the trip.

This comes after the ‘Faskuri’ boat, which was initially owned by a man named Idhurees from L. Gan and later sold to a company owned by MP Jabir, was hijacked by a group armed with sharp edged weapons in Laamu atoll, where the group demanded the boat be returned to L. Atoll.

While the crew members report having have faced threats and intimidation by the hijackers, Idhurees claims that he simply wanted his vessel back as the buyer failed to pay the full price. He denied any intimidation and use of weapons, and stands firm that his actions of going onto the boat with a group of people in the middle of the night cannot be classified as an act of piracy or terrorism.

Police have since arrested 16 individuals with regards to the incident, and have also taken weapons found on the boat which were reportedly left onboard by the hijackers, into police custody. However, the court has released all 16 individuals with out remand, and the matter has now been forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office for appeal.