Immigration implements changes to halt fake bookings

Maldives Immigration Center. | Photo: Human Capital.

Male’, Maldives – Immigration Controller Mohamed Ahmed Hussain (Hanafee) stated on Wednesday that changes were brought to Maldives’ immigration system, in lieu of rising numbers of tourists left stranded due to misleading tour operators and fake bookings. 

According to reports, it is largely Indian tourists who have fallen victim to the bogus schemes.

Travellers to Maldives are required to present details of their accommodation via the immigration portal prior to being granted entry. However, it has recently come to light that hotels with only a few rooms are accepting a comparatively large amount of tourist bookings per day.

Hence, immigration authorities have now begun to conduct investigations into certain hotels, calling owners and operators alike. Thus far, they have confirmed that a number of people are gaining entry into Maldives via fake bookings under legitimate hotels and guesthouses.

Speaking to local media ‘Adhadhu’, Ahmed Hussain assured that, while they are unable to reveal further details due to the nature of the probe, the new adjustments were certain to quell the illegal movement activity.

“Such activity will be minimised following the implementation of these [changes]. Due to these adjustments, we will be able to put preventative measures in place”, said Hussain.

According to the Immigration Controller, the changes would also facilitate other improvements, allowing for increased efficiency of their services.

Immigration has confirmed that a number of tourists who had gained entry via fake bookings have already been sent back to their port of origin.

In recent months, Maldives has emerged as a highly sought after ‘quarantine’ destination for Indian tourists looking to travel on to Europe and the Middle East. A number of guesthouses, located around the country, have divulged that at present the majority of their bookings fit the aforementioned demographic.