Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom says the sudden raids on resorts owned by Villa Group is a politically-motivated atrocity by the government against Jumhooree Party leader and Chairman of Villa Group, Qasim Ibrahim.
In a statement released on Thursday, calling for an end to the cruelty against Qasim, Gayoom said that although tourism sector is the most crucial for the country, actions of the current government has created fear among those working in the sector as well as among tourists.
He also said that the people of Maldives are well aware of the fact that government began attacking Qasim’s businesses from the moment he began criticizing its policies.
“Freezing (bank) accounts of his companies, taking back islands leased for resort development, taking back airports that were being run by Villa, unlawfully sentencing him to prison on allegation of bribing parliamentarians, and many other acts of cruelty against him proves government’s cruelty. And, it is saddening that so many Maldivians are sufferings as a result.”
Gayoom condemned the acts of cruelty against Qasim and called on the government to immediately put an end to it.
Police and Customs officers began searching Qasim’s resorts on Wednesday night under a court order, on the allegation that alcohol released by Cusotms to Royal Island Resort and Spa were illegally taken to Sun Island Resort.