Male’, Maldives – Tourism Minister of Maldives, Abdullah Mausoom stated today that bringing tourists into Maldives and abandoning them is not tourism, but human trafficking.
The statement from Minister Mausoom comes after two travel agents from India and Maldives scammed 28 Indian tourists into coming to Maldives and abandoned them onto the streets.
Regarding this, Minister Mausoom noted that human trafficking and tourism are very different things and that bringing tourists from abroad into the country, only to abandon them and leave them stranded in Maldives, or housing them without proper licenses is human trafficking and not tourism.
Minister Mausoom expressed relief upon the news that relevant authorities will be looking into the matter and taking actions against those who are responsible.
On Sunday night, 28 Indian Muslims, 15 adults and 13 children, including children below the age of 1 were seen helpless at the Bodugungandu Magu in capital Male’ city as they were scammed by a travel agency. The individuals informed that they even paid USD 14,000 as advance to the agency.
While Maldives Police Service is investigating the matter, over the night several Maldivians have aided the individuals in terms of food, water and accommodations.