Former Presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed have criticized the government after Maldives Customs Service and Maldives Police Service began searching all Villa resorts on Wednesday.
Expressing concerning over this Gayoom tweeted saying that although the government talks about being fair and just, only one individual’s five resorts are being searched by police and Customs. Gayoom raised the question on how this justifies as being fair.
Gayoom questioned their integrity when only one individual’s resorts are being searched while there are 127 resorts, 14 tourist hotels, 450 tourist guesthouses, and 130 tourist safaris in operation.
Nasheed condemned the act in a tweet and said that sending police to resorts for political reasons and frightening tourists will only result in jeopardizing the tourism sector of Maldives.
VNews understands the search warrant was issued on allegations that alcoholic beverages released by a Customs’ bonded warehouse under Royal Island’s name were illegally taken to Sun Island.
An official of Villa on Wednesday night said that they have allowed Customs and Police to search any place they desire. Pointing out that none of the Villa Group operated resorts would act in violation of the law, the official said this was done in order to cause political harm to the Villa Group Chairman and leader of Jumhooree Party (JP) Qasim Ibrahim.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) released a statement on Wednesday condemning the act.
Villa had repeatedly denied all claims laid on them by the state, while most cases were ruled in favour of Villa by court.