Four allegedly arrested over sexual offences at mental health institution

Four men have allegedly been arrested in Kaafu Atoll over drug and sex offences related to their work at the Centre for People with Mental Disability on the island of Guraidhoo, sources with knowledge of the matter have claimed.

Speaking to Minivan News under condition of anonymity today, several sources from the island claimed the four suspects stood accused of giving hash oil cigarettes to women staying at the centre and then having sex with them.

One of the four suspects was said to have been charged with filming the alleged crimes, according to the sources. However the charges are not thought to relate to women suffering with mental health issues or physical disabilities.

Several sources on the island of Guraidhoo today claimed that the four men alleged to have been arrested as part of the case were all staff at the centre – one of whom was claimed to be an Imam.

The same sources confirmed to Minivan News that the alleged offences occurred last year.

The suspects are currently believed to still be detained while investigations into the matter continue.

”Their pretrial detention period was first extended to seven days, and when the seven days were over, the court extended the [suspect’s] detention to another 15 days three times,” a source on the island claimed today.

Minivan News understands that although the woman were staying at the Centre for People with Mental Disabilities, they were not thought at the time to suffer from any mental health issue or physical disorder.

“I have information that these girls were first kept at the orphanage in Villingili and when they were old enough to get out from the orphanage and had nowhere to go, the government sent them to the Centre,’’ a source claimed.

The women alleged to be involved with the case have also been summoned to court to testify in the hearing held to decide on the length of pretrial detention for the suspects, Minivan News was told.

According to the Act number 12/2009 relating to Special Measures Applicable to Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse, any persons suffering with a disability will be treated in the same manner as a minor in cases related to sexual abuse.

A senior staff member at the Guraidhoo Centre for People with Mental Disability confirmed to Minivan News today that an “issue” with certain members of staff had taken place at the centre and that police were informed at the time.

“There is an issue like this.  But I cannot give information because all the staff here have signed an agreement that we won’t give out information related to things that goes inside the centre,” the source said.

“The incident was reported to police when the girls one day got mad at the staff working here and told that they were in a relationship with some staffs and the things they have done to the girls. That’s how the centre came to know about this. But we have not heard of the drugging part,’’ the source added.

Minivan News was awaiting a response from the Maldives Police Service regarding the matter at time of press.