A group of people forced their way into the home of Maleesha Hajj Group owner Ismail Abdul Latheef yesterday (April 16) to confront him over allegations his company had defrauded 175 Maldivians seeking to perform the Hajj pilgrimage last year.
Latheef, 42, allegedly collected MVR 68,000 (US$4,400) each from the 175 would-be pilgrims before fleeing the country.
Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News today that police were informed about the incident at about 9:22pm yesterday and moved quickly to the scene where the protesters had gathered.
“In a short amount of time, police officers attended the area and dispersed the crowed,” Haneef said, adding that no confrontations occurred between protesters and police.
Police also confirmed to Minivan News that no arrests were made during last night’s gathering.
The protesters entered the house and yelled at Latheef’s father, who chose not to respond to the group, remaining silent, according to local media.
Some people have claimed Latheef was inside the house when they went in, accusing him of hiding somewhere inside the residence, local media reported.
In October 2012, the Saudi Gazette reported that Latheef’s father was in Mecca performing his 35th pilgrimage.
Hajj groups are authorised by the government to provide transport and accommodation for pilgrims in Mecca, as well as offering guidance in helping them complete the religious rituals.
Latheef’s father is the head of the Athama Hajj Group.
Latheef was meanwhile arrested in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2012, a month after police issued an Interpol red notice to locate and apprehend him. Authorities were reported to have arrested Latheef while he was at the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo.
He was released from remand detention and placed under house arrest in January.