Foreign expert team brought in to investigate possibility of arson

MNDF officers putting out the fire at the "auction shop" in the south side of the city, which includes a former landfill. | Photo: Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Police Service have revealed that they are conducting investigations with the help of a foreign forensic team to determine whether the recent fire incidents were deliberate.

While a fire broke out at an auction house in Malé City yesterday, Police Commissioner Mohammed Hameed said a team of forensic experts was brought in to assist in the investigation. CP said the investigation is ongoing to see if anyone has anything to do with the fires.

CP said yesterday that a major investigation into the recent fire incidents in Malé City and parts of the country is underway. However, he did not say whether there was any connection between the fires and acts of terrorism.

Recently, major terrorism-related operations have been conducted, including foiling plans to blow up places and kill many people, police said.

With the fire at the auction house in the capital yesterday, there have been three such incidents in the past three days.

The fire at the auction house was brought under control at 07:30 am yesterday by the joint efforts of police, army and the public. An accommodation block housing city council employees was also burnt to the ground during the fire.

A fire broke out in the hall of GDh. Fiyori School two days ago. The cause of the fire in the hall is yet to be determined.

Three days ago, a major fire broke out in the R. Alifushi landfill area. The fire was extinguished by digging with an excavator. The cause of the incident has not been established.

The auction house has been on fire several times before. There were fires in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Both times, it was alleged that the place was set on fire deliberately.