Addu City accident victim in serious condition

A road accident that occurred in Addu City around 10:00am this morning has left a 23-year-old man in critical condition.

According to local media, the victim is undergoing treatment for head injuries at the intensive care unit of the Hithadhoo regional hospital.

The hospital is making arrangements to transfer the patient to Malé while the other victim of the accident only sustained minor injuries.

The accident occurred on the Hithadhoo main road when a speeding motorcycle lost control and crashed into police barricades.

In late May, a 30-year-old man died of injuries sustained in an accident in the Maradhoo ward of Addu City.

Several fatal accidents occur each year in the interlinked islands of the southernmost atoll.

Three young men died after road accidents on March 30 and April 10.


President Yameen returns from trips to China and Germany

President Abdulla Yameen returned to the Maldives this morning after visits to China and Germany, president’s office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali has told local media.

President Yameen departed for China on an official state visit on June 10 to attend the 3rd China-South Asia Exposition, and the 23rd Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair. He delivered keynote speeches at the joint opening ceremony for the two fairs.

The president reportedly traveled to Frankfurt, Germany on June 13 on a private visit. Opposition Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim, who recently announced his retirement from politics, is also in Frankfurt.

The president’s office has refused to confirm the president’s visit to Frankfurt or provide any details.


Medianet warns of hoax phone calls

Cable television service provider Medianet has warned of hoax phone calls from impersonators claiming to be the company’s officials requesting credit transfers to claim a prize.

The impersonators were asking people to reload a certain number in order to claim a prize that they have won in a promotional competition.

“Medianet would like to assure all our customers that Medianet would never ask for the customers to pay in order to claim a prize,” the company said today.

“It is advised from everyone to be extremely cautious of such phone calls and to keep updated about the promotions through Medianet’s website, social media platforms or contact us directly at 3320800.”


Indian High Commission marks International Yoga Day

The Indian High Commission organised a special yoga session at the social centre in Malé with about 300 participants this morning to mark International Yoga Day.

Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Rajeev Shahare gifted a book on yoga to the social centre at today’s event.

According to the high commission, a special ceremony will take place at the artificial beach tonight to conclude the yoga day activities. Health minister Iruthisham Adam and foreign minister Dunya Maumoon will attend the ceremony.

Millions of people across the world participated in activities to mark International Yoga Day today. The main took place in New Delhi, India, with Narendra Modi leading a yoga session with about 35,000 participants.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon participated in a yoga session at New York’s time square with Indian external affairs minister Shushma Swaraj.


Underage murder suspect transferred to house arrest

The juvenile court has transferred a suspect in the murder of 19-year-old Ahmed Aseel to house arrest after the minor’s family said he has depression.

The court had previously ordered the minor to be kept in police custody until the murder trial ends.

The minor’s family submitted documents to prove he has depression, local media said.

Aseel was attacked in Malé in August last year and died as a result of his injuries. He was stabbed near Iskandhar School in the Machangolhi ward of the the capital on August 23 along with two others – aged 20 and 13-years-old – whose injuries were not critical.

Doctors had removed Aseel’s right leg in an attempt to save his life after he was stabbed six times.

Eyewitnesses said a group of masked men stabbed the two men in the back and struck the minor on the head before fleeing on motorbikes.

Some eight suspects, including two minors, have been charged over the murder.



MP Mahloof questioned over June 12 sit-in

Opposition MP Ahmed Mahloof was summoned today to the police headquarters for questioning over a sit-in organized by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on June 12.

Police arrested Mahloof at 3:30am on June 13 from Majeedhee Magu, but he was released by the criminal court the following day. He was was accused of obstructing police duty.

The opposition is protesting over the imprisonment of ex-president Mohamed Nasheed and ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim. Some 2000 people took part in the June 12 sit-in.

Mahloof was not available for comment at the time of going to press.

A police spokesperson said Mahloof was summoned to police over an ongoing investigation, but declined to comment further.

A total of 12 people were arrested in the early hours of the morning, but were all released by the criminal court.

The police cracked down on the protest after protesters refused a police order to stop using megaphone and go home by midnight.


First resort under luxury brand St. Regis to open in 2016

International hotel developer Starwood Hotels and Resorts has announced the opening of the Maldives’ first resort under its luxury brand world St. Regis next year.

The new resort  is being developed in Dhaa Atoll Vommuli Island, a 40-minute seaplane ride away from the capital Malé, by the Chennai-based Appaaswamy Group

Starwood Hotels currently operates the W Retreat & Spa and Sheraton Full Moon Resort & Spa.

The new Vommuli Resort will feature 77 luxurious private villas, a spa with six private treatment rooms, an infinity swimming pool, and a state of the art fitness centre along with a dive and activity center.

“This signing further fuels Starwood’s strong growth momentum in South Asia, where we continue to see strong demand for high-end hotel accommodations,” said Sudeep Jain – Starwood’s Vice President of Acquisitions and Development.

“The upcoming arrival of the St. Regis brand in the Maldives underpins our commitment to Starwood’s luxury portfolio in this dynamic market.”

The St. Regis brand operates more than 30 hotels and resorts around the world.

“We are pleased to partner with Starwood to bring this hotel to life: marrying the bespoke service of the St. Regis brand with the ‘barefoot luxury’ mentality of the Maldives,” said Ravi Appasamy Managing Director of Residency Resorts Male Private Limited.

“The brand’s allure, coupled with Starwood’s powerful loyalty program, is sure to entice affluent travelers to visit this enchanting destination.”


Five staff arrested from Shangri-La Villingili for alleged theft

Five employees from Shangri-La Villigili have been arrested on suspicion of stealing from the luxury resort’s jewellery store.

The suspects were brought to the capital from the southernmost atoll yesterday, local media reported, and the criminal court has extended their remand detention to 15 days.

According to the resort, the suspects broke a glass window of the shop and stole a large amount of expensive jewelry. All suspects are Maldivian.

The police are also investigating the alleged theft of $68,000 by a Shangri-La employee working at the finance section.


Bangladeshi woman arrested on prostitution charges

A Bangladeshi woman was arrested from a residence in Malé around 8:00pm last night on charges of prostitution.

Three Bangladeshi men were also arrested after police officers raided Machangoalhi Zeefiyaz based on intelligence information.

The suspects were engaged in prostitution when officers entered the residence, the police said in a statement. Some of the men are suspected of being the woman’s agents.

The police also searched a room in the house and found cash in local and foreign currencies as well as unspecified “items used for sexual activities.”

Last night’s raid follows the arrest of eight suspects, including three foreign women, four foreign men, and one Maldivian man, from a brothel in Malé last week.