Missing journalist caught on ferry terminal CCTV footage

Missing Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla has been seen on CCTV footage from the Hulhumalé ferry terminal in Malé at 12:45am on August 8.

He is seen wearing a black shirt, black trousers and carrying a black backpack. He is wearing while soled Crocs shoes. He is 28-years-old, of medium build, around 5ft 10 inches tall, with a short beard.

Footage shows him buying a ticket from the counter, going into the bathroom, then coming out and handing his ticket to a ferry terminal staff and walking to the waiting area.

Rilwan lived by himself in Hulhumalé at the time of his disappearance. Today is the ninth day since he was last seen.

The CCTV footage contradicts an earlier statement by a friend of Rilwan who claimed to have seen him wearing a turquoise shirt late on the night of August 7.

Family, friends, and Minivan News were unable to identify Rilwan when they first viewed the footage on Saturday, as they were looking for a man in a turquoise shirt.

Minivan News apologises for the mistake.

It now appears Rilwan boarded the one o’clock ferry. The new information corroborates with earlier evidence, including a tweet from his account @moyameeha at 1:02am in which he reported seeing local movie star Yoosuf Shafeeu on the ferry.

A witness on Thursday also told Minivan News and the Maldives Police Services that he had sat next to Rilwan on the early morning ferry on August 8.

Based on eyewitness accounts, the police released a statement on Thursday stating Rilwan was wearing a turquoise shirt and was last seen in the early morning on the Malé – Hulhumalé ferry.

After the incorrect statement by family members and Minivan News, the police subsequently told local media they were unsure if Rilwan had boarded the ferry. The police told Minivan News the search is ongoing.

Before Rilwan went into the ferry terminal, he parked his motorbike near the carnival grounds in Malé. The motorbike is still parked at the same location.

Rilwan’s final Viber message was sent at 1:42 am.

A group of 30 people conducted a land search of Hulhumalé on Saturday, but found no sign of Rilwan. During the search, a member of Rilwan’s family has reported receiving an call from an unlisted number warning him to stop the search and go home.

The International Federation of Journalists together with its affiliate the Maldives Journalists Association has called on the government to speed up investigation to clarify of whereabouts of Rilwan.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) meanwhile put out a statement last night expressing concern with the police investigation and efforts to locate Rilwan, which it contended were “inadequate”.

The main opposition party noted that Rilwan disappeared at a time when journalists were facing intimidation and receiving death threats.

The MDP referred to the party bringing to the government’s attention the abduction of alleged advocates of secularism by a vigilante group in June.

“However, we note with regret that the government has taken no action concerning [the abductions],” the statement read. The party also referred to previous threats against journalists and the arson attack against the opposition-aligned private broadcaster Raajje TV.

At the time, the party claimed to have “received information that some religious extremists have kidnapped young people claiming they had committed irreligious acts.”

Rilwan, also known as moyameehaa by his followers on Twitter, is a softly spoken yet passionate advocate of democracy and free speech. He writes on many subjects, including religion, politics, and the environment.

He had reported some online intimidation, as well as instances of being followed from work in recent months, but he had not reported having received any threats in days prior to his disappearance.

After studying journalism in India, Rilwan worked for both the Human Rights Commission of Maldives and local newspaper Miadhu before joining Minivan News last December.

Police have also confirmed that immigration records show he has not left the country, while there is no evidence to suggest that he returned to his apartment.

Anyone with further information call the Police Hotline 332 2111, or Serious and Organised Crime Department at 9911099. Alternatively, Rilwan’s family can be contacted on 775 4566 or 977 3250.

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23 thoughts on “Missing journalist caught on ferry terminal CCTV footage”

  1. "A criminal often incriminates themselves while trying to wash the evidence of the crime off their hands."

    I think 'dhivehisitee' should learn that simple fact - and refrain from further exposing his own paymasters in the plot.

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  2. @dhivehisitee you're mistaking extremist thugs for religious people, and no it's not.

    It's unfortunate that you perceive anything that's published on this website to be anti-religion even when it's not. People like you think it's anti-Islam to call an extremist an extremist. But it's not, OK?

    If you're so sincerely worried about anti-Islamic content appearing on the internet why don't you extend that concern to the real world? For a start, why you don't condemn as anti-Islamic the wrongful use Islam as justification for enlisting gangsters to kidnap and assault people who write things that you don't like to read?

    Why don't you condemn extremist preachers prancing around town commanding people to circumcise their daughters?

    Why don't you condemn the lack of religious freedom in the country when the Qur'an clearly states there is no compulsion?

    Isn't it anti-Islamic to go against the word of Allah (swt)? But of course it's not, according to you! Although I will be labeled anti-Islamic just for pointing this out.

    I could believe that you care about Islam if you had the slightest bit of consistency in your views.

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  3. Praying Rilwan has not encountered trouble and that he soon calls his family and walks through the door of Minivan News with a good story.

    Even those of us that only know @moyameehaa on social media know he is kind, funny and compassionate. Still hoping for the very best outcome!

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  4. The urge to let off steam boiling inside against somebody when something bad happened to someone close is understood. but its amazing how much someone can understand from jut one sentence! human mind is amazing... Anyways lets get back to finding the so called Moyameeha again. Reading through his digital legacy, I actually stumbled against quite difficult to understand themes such as supporting Israel, berating Palestinians, general islamophobia some brilliant witty quotes etc.. Anyways truth being said he is definitely a colorful digital figure. I have still not given up hope in him. I have a theory he is still holed up somewhere watching tv and internet and laughing at everyone's effort at finding him.

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  5. Didn't you report just yesterday that he was not seen on the CCTV footage? I think I read that on your website.

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  6. Nasheed's Press Secretary Zuhair is also a missing journalist. His wife's and his whereabouts are unknown, and friends say both had also received threats. They are also being prosecuted by state on charges of "irreligious" refusal to provide a urine sample after a Police raid in November 2012.

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  7. @"dhivehisitee"

    I'm sure you enjoyed making up stories about the missing Ahmed Rilwan.

    So, when people like you are hated for your arrogance, don't whine about 'islamophobia'.

    In your desperation to judge others, you have been judged. And that's funny.

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  8. Quite nice of the Minivan News people to let someone like dhivehisitee spread his lies on their site, while ridiculing the situation.

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  9. If the Police claims they have the "sources" to allocate the last location where they received the latest mobile signals, i believe they can trace the signal and location from where the family member received the text message warning to stop the search????

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  10. @Maldivian
    Instead of replying in rage why don't you do a google search on Moyameeha? This Moyameeha is all over internet. whatever he wrote, liked or disliked is out there visible for everyone to see. Some controversial comments he wrote on some some really nasty sites are quickly disappearing. Dunno why. He has produced quite an amount of digital content and everyone is free to arrive at whatever conclusion they may see fit. For my part, I haven't judge him and where is this arrogance coming from? just control your emotions ppl. try to be rational. Most atheists and secular kinda ppl i know are fairly balanced.

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  11. @dhivehisitee
    Who gives the right to anyone to kidnapping for criticizing or supporting someone? Sounds like you are just one of those barbarians carrying that black flag with black dream. May your soul remain in peace!

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  12. @"dhivehisitee"

    You claim that I'm enraged - that I'm making unfounded claims to 'slander' the 'religious'.

    http://i.imgur.com/ix5mRJN.png

    If that's true, then why are the so-called 'religious' people that you're so desperately defending continuing to incriminate themselves?

    The answer is simple.
    Because you're an accomplice. :P

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  13. @dhivehisitee Only someone with a heart full of cold hatred would smear someone who is missing. Please show some humanity.

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  14. @"dhivehisitee"

    You're the one running smear campaigns here, you and your claims that he's "still holed up somewhere watching tv and internet and laughing at everyone’s effort at finding him."

    You're making yourself look like the guilty party here. :P

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  15. It says he was last seen in the Hulhumale terminal but the footage is from Male. Seems like everyone keeps making mistakes! Get a detective in or something.

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