Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz has told parliament’s Government Oversight Committee that police have received reports that the Head of Maleesha Hajj Group, Ismail Abdul Latheef is in Malaysia.
Police began searching for 42 year-old in late September after it was alleged that he had defrauded 175 people of MVR 12 million (US$778,000) after they made payments to the Maleesha Hajj Group to travel to Mecca to perform Hajj.
Riyaz said police were trying to verify the information concerning Latheef’s whereabouts.
Officials from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and police were summoned by parliament’s Government Oversight Committee to determine the progress they had made in locating Latheef, and the missing money.
Latheef was reported to police after people who had made the Hajj payment realised that the group’s office had been closed for days without any response.
On October 2, Interpol issued a red notice to locate and apprehend Latheef.
Attending the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Clients of the company were not able to go to Mecca this year to perform the religious obligation.