Bullet shell discovered in dinghy of rescued Somalis

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has said that officers who searched the vessel of seven Somali castaways yesterday bought ashore in Gnaviyani Atoll have discovered a bullet shell inside the boat.

Several incidents of Somali nationals being washed up or brought to the Maldives after being found lost at sea have been reported during the last twelve months.  This has led to allegations that piracy originating from Africa may have reached the Indian Ocean – suspicions that are yet to have been proven beyond circumstantial evidence.

The latest vessel thought to have gone adrift from the country was found floating near the reefs of Fuvamulah in Gnaviyani Atoll late yesterday afternoon, leading to a search of the boat by MNDF officials.

”The bullet shell was found inside waste materials in their dinghy,” said MNDF Major Abdul Raheem. ”Only one was found.”

Abdul Raheem said the seven men aboard the vessel had now been handed over to police for investigation.

Island Chief Muneer Hussein said the vessel was discovered yesterday around 5:30 pm.

”They were flying white flags and calling for help,” he said.

Muneer said people on the beach signaled them to come ashore.

”They ran their vessel’s engine and came ashore,” Muneer said. ”With the help of some boys near the beach the boat was beached.”

He said the castaways spoke a little English and said they were from Somalia.

”They said they had been drifting in the sea for two months, but appeared to be in good condition and were fairly strong,” he said.

Some opposition politicians have moved to criticise the government over the real identities and nature of castaways being found in the country.  Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Waheed has said that there is a big concern lately that a large number of Somalis are being found drifting into Maldivian waters.

Waheed claimed that the government has failed to provide  sufficient information for civilians on the true nature and number of castaways being found in the country, alleging a possible cover up.

”The people [Somalis] we saw yesterday do not have the appearance that they have been drifting in the sea for a long time, neither did their vessel,” he said. ”The government have not been disclosing information to the citizens and media about the recent similar incidents.”

Six badly malnourished Somali nationals were discovered adrift near the island of Makunudhoo in June after spending three months at sea – one was almost buried alive because his condition was so bad that police and islanders believed he was dead. According to an island official who spoke to Minivan News at the time, he was only saved from being buried alive because of an island superstition that the area “might become haunted if a rotten dead body was buried.”

Seven were rescued on December 1, 2009 and a further five people on December 5, while seven were rescued on May 12,  2010.

While local reports have speculated that some of the rescued Somali nationals may have been involved in piracy before becoming lost and finding their way to the Maldives, the evidence so far has been circumstantial.


13 thoughts on “Bullet shell discovered in dinghy of rescued Somalis”

  1. Maldivian government must now have to think seriously about this issue because the latest somalis were found with water food and fuel this means they might be so-called "Fishing around Maldives. I think there is a serious threat from these guys now.

  2. Like somebody on Haveeru website said, "MNDF aa Coast Guard ge radar thakah aranee hinyaa kandaa, beyruge kandu feyrey meehunei noon".

    This is a real threat to our nation. If these pirates can so easily come ashore on their boats without weapons, then in the near future, our fishing boats and islands are at risk from being invaded by Somali pirates, with rocket launchers. What is our MNDF and Coast Guard doing? The south is supposed to have the "Rehendhi" helicopter which is supposed to monitor our seas. MNDF performing shows at Raalhugandu with live ammunition won't help this nation. I wonder if some fishermen or islanders would be taken hostage before the MNDF realizes how serious this issue is.

  3. At this rate pirates are going to colonize Maldives while the Defence Minister spends time............,....., (censored)(censored)....(censored)...!!!

  4. Agree with "The Maldivians".

    Word has spread that Maldives is a safe haven and a place that could be exploited, without fear from the international navy against Somali piracy.

    We should get immediate help and blockade by Indians, US or anyone else who can monitor and patrol vast sea areas.

  5. Does the Maldivian nation have any extradition treaties with many countries....just in case you do encounter any Somali pirates..These pirates seem to have little or no fear of anyone,are your forces up to it if an encounter turns nasty??

  6. These Somalis must be Jews in disguise sent to operate on Maldivians and steal their organs, as part of a larger plan to destroy Islamic civilization and spread fornication and blasphemy on the planet.

  7. @Larry

    There has been several incidents now, in which Somalis have been found drifting in our waters. In most of the previous cases, they seem to have had been at sea for quite a while and were quite weak.

    This last lot is different. They are healthy, had fuel, food and water and came ashore claiming they lost their fishing boat.

    My suspicion, like most others is that there are a lot more of these guys 'fishing' around the Maldives. The Maldives covers a huge area of ocean and our forces don't have the capability to monitor even 0.01% of it!

    The Somali pirates are increasing looking for new ground to hang around and the Maldives looks like to have come on their radar. This is a very dangerous development, given the size of the sea area the country covers.

  8. @Larry

    A very disturbing observation is that these guys turned up on an island well covered by the MNDF Southern Area Command, based at Larry's old staging post of Gan!

    If there was a large fishing vessel drifting around these waters, the Southern Area Command should have picked that up or I may be expecting too much from them!

  9. MP Ali Waheed must be smoking something that I don't have legal access to. Why would the government 'cover up' cases of Somali pirates turning up in our waters?

    The government as well as most of us are at a loss to explain what these guys are doing around here. Apart from the last lot, most of them drifted here in very poor health, with obvious evidence of being lost at sea for some time.

    The government shouldn't unduly raise fear among the population because of this and have to take precautionary measures without alarming everyone including the thousands of tourist that come here.

    Imagine the impact on the Tourism Industry if the government starts shouting about Somali pirates in our waters? Ali Waheed is a moron!

  10. What if they are pirates? What can anybody do about it? Nothing.. Zilch..
    They are picking pirates in sea everywhere and after doing a lots of investigations and legal proceedings they are just putting them back into sea! Think of the billions of dollars they (the western navies) are wasting of tax payers money. If they spent the money they put to police the waters around Somalia to Somali govt, or even a faction of Somali rebels, they can have piracy stopped in a few days.

    This problem of piracy can only be solved by Islamic sharia! Under sharia the pirates will know they will get only one shot at piracy and once caught they will be sent off to their maker for further investigation..
    Islamic sharia rocks!

  11. Why does these types of stories ever make it to the news. MNDF can simply deal with it while their at sea. Sink the bloody dingy.

  12. The pirates have discovered a safe haven once they fail such attacks on commercial vessels and run out of Gas. The Somalians who have landed are roaming free and have access to overseas calls and the information is passed on their groups.

    Though many times Govt has said they are in the process of returning the pirates to Somalia, its never gonna be that easy. They dont have any identification and even if they speak or look alike no country is going to accept. This is similar to finding stowaways on ships.

    Maldives now a tru paradise for Gitmo prisoners, Somalian pirates & illegal immigrants.


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