Immigration authorities have confirmed that a Chinese national allegedly linked to the disappearance of a tourist staying at a Maldives holiday resort has fled the country, defying a court-mandated travel ban issued Wednesday (December 12).
Local media has reported that the husband of Chinese tourist Song Yapin, who went missing from the Bandos Island Resort and Spa on December 6, has accused another Chinese national staying at the property of murdering his wife.
Immigration Controller Dr Muhamed Ali today confirmed to Minivan News that a court order had been issued against an unidentified Chinese national banning him from travelling from the country. However, despite being blacklisted, local newspaper Haveeru today reported that the Chinese national was still able to leave the country on Wednesday evening after the travel ban was issued against him earlier the same day.
Dr Ali declined to comment further on the issue when contacted by Minivan News today.
“That has been covered enough now,” he said by SMS.
The immigration chief previously told local media that a situation where a blacklisted person was then able to leave the country reflected “major issues” within his department.
“The court had sent us a fax. It was sent during unofficial hours and went unnoticed. However it was brought to our attention by the lawyer of the husband of the missing woman,” Dr Ali was quoted as telling media, adding that an investigation into the matter would be held.
The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) today confirmed that the search to locate the missing tourist was continuing. However, MNDF Spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem said that the country’s coastguard had presently ceased sending out dive teams to explore local waters.
“We have checked the area, but were not able to find anything when we sent our dive teams out over a number of days,” MNDF spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem told Minivan News today. “We will not be calling off our operation until the person is found, but we will be amending our operation on a daily basis.”
Colonel Raheem was unable to confirm the manner of search the MNDF was presently conducting in its hunt for the missing woman at the time of press.
Bandos Island Resort and Spa was also unable to comment on the matter at the time of press due to the unavailability of a senior spokesperson outside of office hours.
Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef was not responding to calls from Minivan News today.