Red notice issued for Ali Waheed’s arrest

Former Tourism Minister and Parliamentarian Ali Waheed | Photo: One

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Police Service has revealed that a red notice alert has been issued for Ali Waheed, after the Criminal Court ordered for his arrest.

Police Media Official stated that following the red notice, the authority is now working with the Prosecutor General’s Office to take all subsequent actions required. However, the red notice is yet to be available on the Interpol website.

Ali Waheed, who in on the run after being charged with sexual harassment and rape during his tenure as Tourism Minister, is currently believed to be living abroad. So far, a total of 7 charges have been raised against him, which if convicted, would carry a 21 year jail sentence.

The red notice was issued during the efforts of Maldives Police to bring him back to Maldives, after they obtained a translation of the court order. Since then, the court order has been shared with multiple foreign agencies as well.

However, this red notice still does not ensure that Ali Waheed will be extradited back to the Maldives, mainly due to the lack of a bilateral extradition agreement between the Maldives and UK, where Ali Waheed is currently believed to be residing.

In the mean time, reports have also been circulating that Ali Waheed has requested asylum from the UK, which is expected to take two years. Due to the lack of an extradition agreement between both countries, some legal experts believe there is little chance of extraditing Ali Waheed within these two years.

Ali Waheed’s case became complicated when the Criminal Court decided to release Ali Waheed’s passport indefinitely, following his request to travel abroad for medical treatment. Since then, he has not attended his trial proceedings, which led the Criminal Court to sentence him to jail for two months. However, before authorities were able to extradite him back to the Maldives to serve his sentence, on 29th November 2021, the Criminal Court ordered him to be presented to court for a second time.

Ali Waheed’s initial release for treatment was granted on a condition of Ali Waheed’s guaranteed return which was signed by former State Minister of Youth, Sports and Empowerment Assad Ali (Adubarey), who is now serving a jail sentence due to Ali Waheed’s failure to return, which was issued in his absence while he was abroad.

Since returning back to the Maldives soon after the court order, he surrendered himself to Maldives Correctional Service, and is now serving his sentence in Hulhumalé Jail.