Maldivian arrested at VIA for joking about bomb in his luggage

Arrivals terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA) | Photo: Sun / Fayaz Moosa

Malé, Maldives – A traveller from Maldives has been arrested at Velana International Airport (VIA) after jokingly asking security if there was a bomb in his luggage.

The incident took place on Friday evening as the airport security command was checking his baggage. The security officers heard a noise from inside his luggage during baggage check, prompting them to open his luggage and take out a dumbbell packed inside. He was arrested after he jokingly asked the officers if they found a bomb inside his luggage.

The traveller was then transferred to the Male’ Custodial. The traveller’s lawyer Abdulla Haseen told local media outlet Sun, that his client asked the question as a joke, and that his question was in no way meant as a terror threat. He also added that his client was held detained for hours before he was permitted to call a lawyer at approximately 08:00 pm.

Furthermore, Haseen said that his client suffers from multiple medical conditions but that he has been denied permission from police to meet his client despite repeated pleas on health grounds citing that lawyer visits cannot be permitted during the weekend.

He also said that a complaint has been lodged with the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) over the issue, accusing the police of violating his client’s human rights.