Government to host Boney M concert after Sri Lankan organiser arrested for fraud

A Sri Lankan man is being held by police for charges of fraud connected with the recently postponed Boney M concert.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed the Sri Lankan national has been in police custody since Thursday and will be taken to court later this evening.

The Mega International Music Fiesta, which was scheduled to take place at the Galolhu National Stadium in Malé on 14 April, was being organised by Pro Maldives Inc Ltd (also known as Pro Models) in partnership with Sri Lankan company ‘Rokomaestro Inc USA’.

The event was cancelled at the last minute and managing director of Pro Models Mohamed Nizam told media although they had not received any pressure or complaints, the show had to be postponed and there would be a full refund for people who had already bought tickets.

Tickets were sold at Rf 250 and 500 (US$19.5 and US$39).

Minivan News was unable to find a website, business registration or contact details for any company called ‘Rokomaestro Inc USA’ in Sri Lanka.

A ‘completely new show’

The original show would have starred disco legends Boney M and featured British reggae legends Aswad and North American rapper Bubba Sparxxx.

The Maldives Entertainment Company Ltd, backed by the Ministry of Human Resources, Youth and Sports, has now taken over planning and executing the event, which will be held on 26 April in Dharubaaruge.

Press Secretary for the President’s Office, Mohamed Zuhair, said the concert was postponed because “the agency in charge of delivering the stars here had some technical difficulties.”

He said Boney M cancelled the show because of these “technical difficulties”. Zuhair said Pro Models then “appealed to the government for help” and the government agreed because they felt it would be “good for the country.”

He added refunds were being given for those who bought the original tickets.

Minister for Human Resources, Youth and Sports, Hassan Lateef, said the original show was “a flop” because the companies in charge of organising the event “couldn’t bring [Boney M] down to the Maldives.”

“There was not enough communication with Boney M management,” Lateef said, “so [Boney M] cancelled.”

He said he had no suspicion that the previous organisers were playing a scam on ticket buyers, and added it was “a lack of trust” on the part of Boney M management that stopped the show from taking place on its original date.

Lateef said because tickets had been sold and the public had the expectation of seeing the show, “the government intervened” and Boney M’s appearance has been confirmed for 26 April.

He added the agreement is being sent to Boney M management for signing today.

“A lot of things were not arranged properly,” he said, noting that advanced payments were not made and the event organisers had trouble in getting the members to the Maldives.

Lateef said the ministry had not received any complaints about the Boney M concert and added, “I have received calls from government officials… a lot of people have made bookings.”

He acknowledged “it’s not good for the government to host a show,” but assured the government has no intention of hosting other events in the future. “Because of how things went, we had to intervene,” he said.

Lateef also noted this is “a totally new show”, distinct from the original ‘International Fiesta’, and new tickets are required.

“I heard the [original] tickets have been refunded,” he said, and advised people to buy tickets for the new show “as soon as possible” as there is limited seating in the new venue.

The new show, which will feature an original member of Boney M, will feature a local band, but he said the local artists have still not been selected.


12 thoughts on “Government to host Boney M concert after Sri Lankan organiser arrested for fraud”

  1. i thought it was the 'extremists' who were responsible for the delay in this show.

  2. I wonder this concert would address to drug, alcohol and sex (HIV) problems wildly facing Maldivian youth! As sex, drug and alcohol is widely promoted usually in these concerts and much others artists end up in drug!
    I also wonder why the youth Minister Hassan is so passionatly involved in this concert?? While there is huge emergence of youth unemployment in Maldives and he is basically sitting in his ministry..doing "almost nothing". And there is wide spread "office politics" in his ministry and he "only" attending to that..while this government is failing on the human resource and employment front!
    I also wonder if this concert was "pushed" by an "influencial" person to socially re-enginer the Maldivian culture to suite to western secularist way of life and accepting alcohol and sex with out marriage and gay! I wonder..I wonder..hmm..looks like an "inside job". Hassanko keep up the work..your boss "Mr.Inside man" would be pleased! Remember the day when you would be accountable infront of GOD..(by the way IF believe)..hehe

  3. What next.... from hosting music events to ...... Looks like the government is getting all confused and forgetting what a government is all about. We have more pressing issues than that associated with bringing "1/2 a star of the Boney M original line-up"." SOme of our islands are running out of water, some of our fellow Maldivians are being sacked just for playing PS games, we are getting assaulted on the streets, daylight robbery is on the increase, parliament is getting locked in a stalemate, inflation is on the rise,.... and a lot more. But all that the governmeent sees worth of intervention is to bring the "daddy cool" to town. Well for blokes like Press Secretary "daddy cool" would be the ideal reminder of their heydays of the 70's with "Red Man" Juice dance parties. Simply pathetic.

  4. And since when did "technical difficulties" equate to "fraud". So the green signal is on for all the frauds to do whatever they feel and dupe the people. Why? Rest assured becuase the government acting the saviour would intervene to deliver the finale for the deceptions and fraudulent acts.

  5. This is great.

    People who wanted a Muslim evangelical get Naik and those that wanted to party a bit get this.

    Everyone goes home entertained. Seems fair enough.

    On another note, it's slightly amusing how apparently these guys are perfectly fine while Akon isn't.

  6. Looks like our Govt has nothing else to think of!!!. What a Joke!!!

  7. Although some people might consider this a frivolous pursuit of the government, they are ignoring the reasons behind the governments decision to support this. Reason one, providing alternate sources of entertainment for youth, reason two, providing alternate sources of entertainment for youth, reason three, providing alternate sources of entertainment for youth, secondly.
    Way to go, government!

  8. This is good news for many Maldivians who love music. It may appear a sin for some, but the majority don't agree. We need some form of entertainment once in a while.

  9. What else do you think is the role of the Maldives Entertainment Co. Ltd., This is great. This proves that each and every wing of government is fully functional now. Cheers to Hassan Latheef. Hell and Heaven both is meant for human beings. Don't worry. Life is like a candy on a shelf.

  10. I am sure BoneyM will not be uncivilized then this Hindhi movies, which is part and parcel of each and every women in our society.

  11. The day that we equate hosting music shows as a sign of a functional government is a sad day! And today is that day!
    Yes, we do need alternative sources of entertainment, but it is not the role of government to directly organize and coordinate these alternatives. It is their responsibility to create the conditions that would allow for such alternatives - such as dealing with the rising fundamentalism in the country so that people will feel at ease and will not hesitate to pursue alternatives. To address the drug problem. To reduce violence..
    Looks like our government has got priorities wrong! Why does the government seem like an inadequate retail gaadiya run out of someone's private home..more and more everyday....
    This is a problem, and I hope the government realizes how ridiculous all this is!
    and yes irony: They had a problem with Akon, but noone is having issues with Boney B.


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