The Maldivian man, arrested in connection with the suspected illegal transfer of goods from a Maldivian-flagged tanker to a North Korean-flagged tanker, has been accused of plotting to overthrow the Maldivian government.
The man, who is from GDh. Madaveli, was arrested on March 5 under the ongoing state of emergency.
According to local news outlet VFP, several accusations have been leveled against him. The accusations include, forging transport ministry’s seal, creating a false Gmail account in the name of a top ministry official, using the account to communicate with the International Maritime Organization, using false documents to obtain international call sign for an oil tanker that has never been registered in the Maldives, using the Maldivian flag to carry out potential terrorist activities, and planning to bribe various parties to overthrow the Maldivian government.
Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement that at midnight on February 24, an aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force discovered that a North Korean-flagged tanker named “Chon Ma San” and a Maldivian-flagged tanker named “Xin Yuan 18” were found next to each other. "Following a comprehensive assessment, the Government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR," the statement said.
It also said that the US government designated Chon Ma San as a vessel of sanction target against North Korea.
However, the Maldivian government denied that a Maldivian vessel was involved in the illegal transfer of good. The President’s Office said Xin Yuan 18 was not registered to Maldives.
In a separate statement the foreign ministry of Maldives said that the government is taking the matter very seriously and is conducting investigations.
“Maldivian authorities do not allow flag of convenience to foreign owned vessels to operate outside Maldivian waters, and therefore, the use of the Maldivian flag on Xin Yuan 18 is clearly a violation of the Maldivian laws and regulations.”
The ministry also said that government gives top priority to implementing UN Security Council resolutions, including those on North Korea.