Foreign Ministry stalls return of 8000 “ownerless” passports

The Foreign Ministry has stalled attempts to hand over almost 8000 foreign passports to their respective High Commissions, claiming details regarding the owners whereabouts still needed to obtained by immigration authorities, local media has reported.

State Foreign Minister Hassan Saeed said the Foreign Ministry will only deliver the passports to the respective consular authorities once immigration clarifies the location of the owners, a task described as “huge” and “difficult” by Immigration Controller Dr Mohamed Ali.

Saeed claimed the number of foreigners who had not left the Maldives while on temporary travel documents was close to the number of ownerless passports held at immigration, local media reported.

“We have a number of foreigners who have left the Maldives on temporary travel documents. But if that number does not match with the passports and if we try to hand over the passports there will be complaints, and questions asked over the quantity of the passports and the whereabouts of the holders,” Saeed was quoted as telling local newspaper Haveeru.

Dr Ali told Minivan News on Tuesday that it would be a “huge task” to obtain the details needed before the passports could be handed over to the respective High Commissions.

Asked if it was realistic to expect immigration to find the whereabouts and details of the owners of all 8000 passports, Ali said such feat would be a “difficult task”.

According to local media the exact number of expatriates in the Maldives is unknown. However immigration statistics show there are 120,000 registered expatriates who regularly pay their visa fees and a further 40,000 illegal immigrants.

Ali told local media that the majority of the passports are from Bangladesh, however there were passports from India and Sri Lanka as well.

An official from the Indian High Commission said the passports should be returned to the respective governments, as they posed a security risk.

The official condemned the practice of Maldivian employers – including some government departments – withholding the passports of their employees: “Keeping someone’s passport is a threat on a private level.

“Passports should belong to the person and no one else. It is a security risk for individuals to not have their passport in their possession,” the official said.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs inaugurated an initiative targeted at raising awareness of the issue of human trafficking in the Maldives.

The Maldives has come under strong criticism internationally in recent years over its lack of effort to prevent people trafficking, with the country appearing on the US State Department’s Tier Two Watch List for Human Trafficking three years in a row.

Speaking at the recent inauguration of the Blue Ribbon Campaign Against Human Trafficking, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Abdul Samad Abdulla stated the initiative formed part of a larger plan to try and addressing human trafficking in the Maldives.

“We have been conducting a lot of work to deal with the issue, though it may be generally a little known fact,” Samad claimed. “Our intention now is to work together with local media outlets and create more awareness about the issue. I would like to request media cooperate in this initiative.”

The Foreign Ministry also announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with multiple local media outlets in the country to conduct the Blue Ribbon Campaign.

Minivan News was awaiting a response from the Foreign Ministry at time of press.


15 thoughts on “Foreign Ministry stalls return of 8000 “ownerless” passports”

  1. There are some senior immigration officials involved in this human trafficking business in Maldives. How on earth can they hold passports of foreign nationals who are unaccounted for? Did the govt of maldives kill those 7000 Bangladeshis?

  2. Holy seems nobody is in charge in your useless Foreign Ministry......what a bloody farcical state of affairs.
    If your government departments did not condone the illegal practice of confiscating the passports of expatriate workers, this confusion would not have happened in the first place.
    The fact that there are thousands of 'ownerless' passports in a politically unstable islamist state like Maldives is a security threat to the entire world and not just to India.
    India should take firm action against the inept Foreign Ministry and the issuance of travel visas for India should be suspended immediately till this mess is cleared up. Indian Embassy personnel, please post a sign outside the embassy saying NO MORE TRAVEL VISAS WILL BE ISSUED TILL FURTHER NOTICE. DO NOT HANG AROUND OUTSIDE THE GATE, GO HOME.
    You need to get some IT guys from India with the right software to sort the mess out for you......clearly you are incapable of sorting out the mess yourselves.

  3. MissIndia NewDelhi, the problem is exacerbated because of corrupt politicians in India cooperating with regime strongmen to continue human trafficking operations to the Middle East. They were the ones who 'recognized' the criminal regime.

    Both our peoples need to work to end human trafficking, now.

  4. The US Govt and UN has been watching Maldives very closely for the last few years and placed Maldives high up in the watchlist, as a country blatantly involved in human trafficking..Maldives needs to immediately stop the malpractice or else it will face the music.

  5. he he he all Indians like Mallu Aunty Miss India think these poor..illiterate India is great.and the biggest DEMOK-CRACY..some Indian jokers say...all these modern technologies came from India.Like once they have fooled illiterate Indians saying Indira was the daughter of Mahatma Gandhi to get votes ,now same apply for this ex-cambridge baby sitter from Italy.

    No country in this world supply IT service or staff at 1/5 of the international salary like India...such a cheap fellows.

    In Saudi Arabia even a poor Somali will not accept a driver job not less than Saudi Riyal 500- but these Indians will take the same job for Saudi Riyal 100- this is the kuwalidy(inglish for quality) of these Indians .....

    There was no India before the arrival of British but China is there over 5,000 years.

  6. @Kurvi,

    You need a history lesson, The British kicked the Chinese arse long before arriving in India and ruled there for a many years before taking Hong Kong on a hundred year lease as an agreement to hand back power. Then along came the Japanesse and took over the rule prior to world war 2.

    And i wish you would learn to spell, ENGLISH you backward idiot.

  7. English is an International language used by many nationals.....but these Indians talk INGLISH.....who is backward idiots? can pronounce this language properly or...first learn how to wear trouser and long sleeve shirt first..

    December 1st is the World `s AID day all international media focused on India (not China )because your country has got the highest number of AIDS patients in the world do you know this ? This is the development your kangress paarrrty (inglish for congress party now lead by ex-italian baby sitter)gave to your country.

    If you look at the daily rapes reported in this SOOOOPER India no doubt every Indian girl has been raped atleast twice before they marry.....DEMOK-CRATIC India..this is the beauty of security to public.

    slaughtering cow for food is not accepted by many Indians by they accept and worship Italian woman who eat mutton and pork daily and jokers even welcome this woman inside temples is this he he....these Indians dont have even sense at all.

    There was no India before the arrival of British according to writer Arundathi Roy there was no India before 60 yrs ...this is a patch work of primitive tribes....organised by British for adminstrative purpose...
    he? JAI ITALY

  8. So sorry, I think the overcrowding and lack of drinking water in the atolls is finally getting at me. Also the brown sugar, which we Maldivian love sooooo much, is making my head go funny.
    I think the generous Indians should make a donation so that I can go to a proper school. My Pakistani madrasa education is hopeless as is so apparent in my poor language skills.
    I tried reading 'The God of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy but being a dimwitted poorly educated Maldivian I did not understand a word.
    I really really need to improve my 'Inglis' before commenting here. Maybe I should comment on a Dhivehi news site instead.

  9. general knowlege of these Indians are poor because of their kaalaage (inglish for college) degree.....but these jokers know about their film stars and their wedding and birthdays accurately...there are many island nations smaller than Maldives in this globe....he he he I heard people in Indian territory Andaman Islands are look like Africans ...probably they are the real Indians ancestors ..

    Indian political paarties(inglish for parties) recruite film stars to bring illiterate..empty stomach people to meeting to increase the crowd.....this is DEMOK-CRAZY in this poverty nation.

  10. I know Maldivian people are UGLY but the peoples from Andaman ireland are uglier he he he.
    Sooper India is a poor country but whre else can we poor maldivians go for hier study and hospital.Maldivian doctor no good also Maldivian teecher no good. Even our best hospital IGMH is gifted by India.
    Is it tru that there are more dollar millionaires in India than there are people in Maldives?
    My head is going funny again..........I need the brown sugar. I reely need to improv my inglis.

  11. so so one indian who write using my pen name KURVI ...proves that Indians only kaapie(inglish for copy)others..

    if you are honest write in your own pen name ..and challenge every of mine lines.

    So everything is imported in poverty India ..mother India ex-baby sitter from Italina family..soon this school drop out joker Rahul Khan alias Ghandi an Italan-Iranian blood Indian will bring his Columbian sweet heart(daughter of a drug lord) and marry her these empty stomach Indians will worship her later she will become mother of India.

    What a joke this fake gandhi family members could`t find a partner in India ...first Iranian Feroz Khan...later..Italin Cobbler Sonia..soon Columbian drug Princess....guys these Indians won`t bother about caste when it is about white European.such a slavery mentality they still have in their head.

    Yes India has got few millionaires(based only in their stock market value)there are millionaires in Maldives sa per the size of this country but China WITH 1 BILLION POPULATION HAS GOT one million Poverty India Millions of beggers are dying on streets...a country which is not in a position to give basic sanitation...drinking water to her own people is building hospitals to others he he he like road side begger give charity imitating a wealthy guy living on the same street.

    Maldivian can afford to travel aboroad for medical treatment but poverty Indians has to die on street.

    By the way how many rapes this week in poverty India????

    JAI ITALY Italy an Indian can`t even become a village council head..but these fools have given their India to a illiterate Italian ex-baby sitter and worship her....without shame...but criticize others ..he he he

  12. Indian national dress is LOIN CLOTH..guys .if you can`t believe me go an see this in a village and towns there.

    Maldivians can buy and wear dress of their choice of any brands but many Indians have no proper play near railway staions in loin cloths both boys and girls.

    One have to cover his nose when he walk in Indian cities where men and men use open air toilet...even Andaman Negros will not behave like this.

    In Europe even Balgadeshies know the manners how to behave in public but not even educated Indians..who look at flashy cars and white girls with open mouth and take pictures near ticket vending machines.If a white girl smile these dirts think she invite them...becaues they are so handsome hanumans

  13. When this beedi smoking Indian army 4th largest in the Worl`d are going to re- take..20,000 Sq.Km Indian land from China?

    This selected not elected..yes madam..poodle of Italian woman PM Singh never utter a word about this..may be he so scared to comment about Greater China..

    One 50 years old French navy ship on the way to Bangaldesh scrap yard was purchased by India ...and painted...and this is the biggest ship of their navy now ... while China recently launched Chinese made state of art navy ship....he he he India is really a SOOOPER power in paper.


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