Male’, Maldives – Maldives Police Service (MPS) has requested a travel ban for Gililankan Fushi Resort’s General Manager David Stepetic for suspected involvement in the case of a sandbank being deliberately damaged near the island of K. Himmafushi.
Police added that they are conducting an investigation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA after they received a report pertaining to a group who had been cutting an artificial channel on the sandbank at around 8:40pm on Thursday.
Videos circulating on social media shows locals of approaching and questioning alleged staff of the Gili Lankanfushi resort after having come across them near the damaged sandbank.
Some voiced concerns that the staff of the Gili Lankanfushi had deliberately destroyed the sandbank allegedly because locals from Himmafushi island were utilizing it for recreation and leisure, and because it was no longer viable as an exclusive location for guests staying at the Gili Lankanfushi Resort.
Speaking to RaajjeMV about the issue, Director General of EPA Mohamed Naeem said that deliberately destroying a sandbank was not an acceptable act at all, stressing that the EPA would not back down in taking action against perpetrators once investigation was complete.
The Environment Ministry in a tweet has addressed the viral video showing the destruction of a sand bank. The video shows some people digging a trench separating a sand bank in two.
In their tweet, the Ministry of Environment informs that EPA Maldives is investigating and issue and that action will be taken against the responsible parties under the Environment
The matter has led to immense public scrutiny and calls for action against Gili Lankanfushi management, questioning the current administration’s stance on environmental protection.