Items found on Hondaidhoo island in Haa Dhaal Atoll during the police raid are MP Abdulla Jabir’s responsibility, the Agriculture Ministry has stated.
Ten people including Jabir were arrested for the alleged consumption of alcohol on Thursday during a police raid on the island. All but two suspects have been released by Kulhudhuhfushi Magistrate Court.
Speaking at a press conference held on Sunday (November 18) Jabir claimed that the island was being run by Hamdhan Zaki, son of Special Envoy to the former President Mohamed Nasheed, Ibrahim Hussain Zaki.
Despite this, Deputy State Agriculture Minister Ali Solih said that Jabir himself had signed on behalf of Yacht Tours – the company Jabir is Managing Director of – to lease the island for agricultural purposes with the Agriculture Ministry on January 30 2003.
“Hence anyone, including us, can only set foot on the island with Jabir’s consent. Jabir must be responsible for anything found on the island. Article 18 of the agreement states that there shall not be any activities which violates the Islamic Shariah and the Maldivian constitution.
“The bearer of the signature must be responsible in such a case. Jabir has said that some tourists from nearby resorts go to the island for picnics, however it is not an island leased for that purpose,” Solih added.
According to Solih, the party who leased the island is entitled to all the powers granted under the agreement, however in case of a violation of the agreement by the party; the article does not prevent the ministry from taking action against them.
“The island was not leased as a picnic island, hence the president or the home minister will not be held responsible for it. No one has to be held liable for something Jabir has to be responsible for,” Solih added.