Maldivian police have revealed that they have arrested 98 prostitutes in Male’ since March this year, including some expatriate males.
According to police, 58 of the alleged prostitutes have now been deported and sent back to their countries.
In one instance police said a Bangladeshi expatriate who was caught and deported had changed his name and crossed the Maldivian border by changing his information. Police said the person was arrested a second time for involvement in prostitution.
Police custody currently hold four Thai women, two Bangladeshi women and men, and three Maldivians in detention, all of them whom arrested in massage parlors on suspicious of being involved in prostitution.
According to the police statement, police have so far confiscated Rf138783 [USD9011] and USD3155 [Rf48587] found in massage parlors and alternative medical centres closed by the police for running prostitution.
Police said that since March, they have closed down 25 businesses operating as brothels in different operations conducted to reduce serious and organised crime.
The statement quoted police Inspector Mohamed Dhaudh as saying that three businesses were shutdown in March, three businesses shutdown in April, five businesses shutdown in May and six businesses shutdown in June, five businesses shutdown in July, one in August and four closed down in September.
Dhaudh said the operations to raid those businesses were mainly conducted by police intelligence and officers from the serious and organised crime department.
After the new government came in to power, police began special operations to curb the rise in prostitution in the Maldives.
In a mega protest held in Male’ on December last year by a coalition of the then-opposition parties, they demanded Mohamed Nasheed’s government close down all the spas and massage parlors in Male’ accused of running prostitution.