Gasim will “not surrender to pressure” as government closes Villa spas

Opposition MP and tourism tycoon Gasim Ibrahim has warned the government that he would not “surrender to the pressures” of authorities after they halted operations of his airline, Flyme, and ordered the closure of spas in five resorts in his Villa chain in the past 48 hours.

In a statement released on Monday, Transport Ministry said that Flyme airline, which began operating on October 2, was asked to halt operations while the ministry carried out an audit. The audit is addressed on an incident with the aircraft which took place on December 24.

The audit would be carried out within three months to determine whether the Flyme operations are administered according to the Civil Aviation regulations, the statement read.

However, on Tuesday morning Gasim’s lawyers successfully sought a civil court order to resume Flyme operations.

Meanwhile, on Sunday the Tourism Ministry sent a notice to Gasim’s Villa resorts ordering management to shut down resort spas until further notice, claiming the ministry had received reports of prostitution in those departments.

On Monday, a police team accompanied Tourism Ministry officials to Gasim’s Paradise Island resort to investigate the reports.

However, the resort’s manager Gaisar Naseem rejected the ministry’s order, claiming that  no illegal activity is occurring in the spas, and refused to close down the spas without a court order, local media reported.

Naseem was summoned to appear at Police headquarters for further questioning at 2:00 pm on Tuesday.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that police are cooperating with the Tourism Ministry to investigate the allegations against the resorts.

Gasim, Leader of Jumhoory party, has said the government’s recent decisions are targeted to “silence” him because of his work in the parliament and on a political platform.

In a press statement released on Monday night, Gasim assured that his businesses are of high standing and will bring only a good name to the country.

However, he warned that the government’s allegations that he is running “brothels in the resorts” will harm the tourism sector.

Gasim also warned the government that he will “not surrender to the pressures”, and that the government is “foolish” to think otherwise.

During the December 23 protest to “defend Islam”, Gasim criticized the government’s religious credentials.

“We don’t know there is a moderate, higher or lower Islam. We only know Islam, which is above all the religion. The only road we must follow is based on Allah’s callings,” said Gasim, slamming the government’s calls for “moderate Islam”.

Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs have also recently accused Gasim of proposing amendments to “destroy” the government’s budget for 2012.


20 thoughts on “Gasim will “not surrender to pressure” as government closes Villa spas”

  1. Gasim should welcome the police moves against his massage parlours. After all, wasn't he the man who funded the extremist rally on 23 December - a rally that called for the closure of all massage parlors and brothels?

    As for his airline, well, it is clearly unfit to fly and the government has a legal obligation to ground it.

    Gasim is learning the lesson Julius Caesar learnt the hard way: whoever lives by the sword shall be perished by the sword.

  2. This type of childish tactics by the government will only tarnish MDP image in front of the people. Guys, we fought very hard to bring MDP in to power. Please stop this type of bullying if we want to win in the coming election.

  3. These sort of intimidation and use of police was exactly what maumoon was accused of and the reason why we changed the government. The scare tactics used by this government is a 1000 times worse in their attempts to quelch any dissent. It cannot understand why anyone can justify such actions. Brutality and intimidation is still brutality and intimidation whethr its maumoon or anni who is committing it

  4. This seems to be politically motivated. There are hundreds of spas in the Maldives. Why start by targeting without evidence, resorts owned by those involved in organizing the defend Islam protest. Gasim should question the motive behind this and it's timing. I suspect someone is still trying to work against the defend Islam movement fast before time passes by. This way by delaying real implementation of the demands by the defend Islam protectors, the government can weaken the protest movement with moves such as this. There are plenty of people in government that has spas in their resorts. Why target Gasim one and accuse it of prostitution without evidence. These accusations must be backed by evidence always in order to not hurt any Maldivian business. Maldives cannot be a country that just goes around closing peoples businesses without proper investigation and proof. By doing so, the Government bodies which takes these action should be liable for damage for false publicity and accusation.

    Why not the Government publicly declare Israel as a hostile entity to the Republic of Maldives? Isn't this easier to do, unless ties with Israel is still being supported by some in the Government.

    People should be careful and watch what exactly is the response of the Government. Are they unfairly targeting opposition and NGO leaders using the protest demands as an excuse? If so, it would only mean the Government is not serious about the peoples demands yet.

    Remember politics is dirty! And we have some people in Government that feels what they want for this country, is what all the people want. They are trying to still find ways for the President to not give into the people. I am sure Anni has heard the majority's demand are ready to listen. But a minority people around him are still fighting for un-Islamic agendas which they have so heavily invested in.

    We ask the President to make things transparent and don't try to go after opposition figures businesses or any business in Maldives without evidence.

    Also don't delay things which are clear cut. Israel is a clear cut decision to make and no investigation is needed. We Maldivians should not recognize the state of Israel and instead should recognize Palestine as a state just like Iceland has done recently. Just because Palestinians can't give you money, does not mean you choose the evil devil with the money. We Maldivians are a people that loves peace and justice for the Palestinians and ourselves.

    How about condemning Pillay for insulting our Laws? It would only take a minute or two. No investigation is needed for this.

  5. Now the government is banning alcohol, pork and Spas. We need to find new ways to make tourism work.

  6. The government is not singling out anyone...All massage place will be shut...And No more booze...Mr. Gasim can rely on Arab Islamic Tourism. Tks

  7. Flyme's cockpit glass broke mid flight.

    for all our sake, this matter should not be politicized. we are talking about a serious air safety matter.

    gasim, mdp executive branch, the judiciary should all should think about safety of people flying on fly me before their personal vendettas and grudges.

  8. @ Muaz.

    You are talking with your mouth and your arse.

    Do your honestly think the dec23 event was not politically motivated?

  9. No one wants Gasim to surrender. But it is important for a businessman to act in a way his business is safe. Politics is the worst profession for a businessman, especially, in opposition. The government is more powerful than even the voters who elected it from one election to the next, at least. The public will not adjudicate on a specific action taken against an individual in making its choice of a government at the next election. It will be either forgotten or of too little or no importance to be considered in choosing a government. So, the government is free to act in a particular way insofar as it is lawful in the main. For example, to close all spas in Villa chain of resorts for some purpose is lawful. How damaging it is for the business only the owner will know. It is immaterial to the government to what he will surrender if not for pressure.

  10. It is very clear that Buruma Qaaroon is operating brothels in his as spas.
    The truth is that he is unable to sell his resorts as he has taste less concrete structures Westerners detest.

  11. I wonder if Maldivians are born with half a brain when it comes to religion.


    1. We don't care if they are married but let them sleep together.
    2. We don't care if they swim and walk around almost naked.


    1. We can't have them in a spa.
    2. We can't have them eating pork or drinking alcohol.


    1. We should also check for Maldives-approved marriage certificates before we allow tourists to share a room.
    2. All female tourists should cover all but their hands and face....


    1. You can then (and only then) declare you are reasoned and consistant in your religious stand (not a retarded hypocrite).
    2. You can also say good bye to your economy and livelihood and be the most stupid country there ever was.

  12. And now we are supposed to feel sorry for Mr Gasim, are we? Gasim is one of the biggest cowards around. He put this front as a fighter for Islam whilst his other role is as the purveyor of alcohol, pork and prostitution in spas run in his hotels.

    I've seen quite a few like him around the world. We all know the type. In Pakistan, India, Middle East, Europe and America, we have these prominent businessmen who are considered the backbone of their community. They will sit in the front row for Friday prayers. They'll take every opportunity to be seen in charitable activities.

    Behind all that facade, these characters will be operating the biggest night clubs, bars and brothels in their respective countries. Gasim is just another example of that!

  13. I thought Gasim was a part of the demonstration calling for the closure of spas?

    Spas were banned in inhabited islands during Gayooms administration and continue to be banned in inhabited islands. The only spas in the country are in the resorts. What was Gasim thinking of when he called for the banning of spas? Didnt he know he was calling for the closure of spas in the resorts?

    As for government actions to investigate prostitution in Gasims resorts, I doubt the government would take such an action without concrete evidence.

  14. They asked to close Gasim's spas. Not anyone elses. They also asked to stop the flights of the airline operated by Gasim.

    Why did they ask to close all Gasim's spas and stop Gasim's 'Fly me' airline?
    Was this not politically motivated?

  15. Why is it that only Gasim's business is under attack by the government? He is not the only resort owner who has spas in this country. We have more than 70 resorts in this country and almost all of them have spas with east asian girls performing massages and other activities to tourists. So why only Gasim? This is merely an attack on Gasim by the MDP Zionist Regimen. They are not doing anything to clear the demands of the protesters who gathered to defend Islam, rather making misuse of their demands to destroy Gasim. Gasim is a well respected person who has helped the ordinary Maldivians more than anyone else has done. And he has been doing this for many years, bringing a change in life of many poor ordinary maldivians.

  16. Gasim u fool. U should be proud about the govt. initiative. After all u guys requested for it. WHy not ban them? Why are ur ass licking followers calling it its for mockery? Please explain. U guys asked for a ban so ban it..Im so me and my family living abroad. Its idiots like these we couldnt stand.

  17. Uh oh. Gasim just found out his protest worked too well!

    Nice going, dumbass! Now shoot yourself in the other foot and stop the heroin trade! 😛

  18. Maumoon only locked up Gasim but didn’t disrupt his business like anni. Anni is worst than maumoon.

  19. Tunahunter, which world are you living in? Wake up. Its Maumoons money bankrolling Gasims business.


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