Quad-bike in Kuredu fatal accident was registered and driver licensed

The quad-bike involved in the crash on Kuredu Island Resort, which claimed the lives of British honeymooners Emma and Jonathan Gray, was legally registered to the resort as a tractor according to registration documents obtained by Minivan News today.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik had previously alleged during an emergency motion in parliament last week that the King Quad 700 vehicle was not legally registered with the Maldives Transport Authority, and that the driver, 23 year-old Swedish national Filip Eugen Petre, was not licensed to operate it.

Opposition MPs accused Manik of indulging a personal vendetta against the resort’s owner, Champa ‘Uchoo’ Mohamed Moosa, in retaliation for coverage by Champa’s private DhiTV station of an incident last year in which 168 bottles of alcohol were found in Manik’s car while he was outside the country.

Manik further alleged in parliament that attempts were made to “to hide the boy [Petre] and put the blame [for the accident] on a Maldivian employee in the resort.”

When Minivan News contacted Manik today, he maintained that he had been informed by a person working on the resort that the vehicle was unregistered. He also claimed that foreigners who wished to drive in the Maldives were required to register with the Ministry of Transport.

“I have been watching that island for a long time and they are doing a lot of illegal things,” he alleged. “I am bringing this up in the national interest, not because of Champa. I don’t want this to happen on another resort otherwise it will affect the industry.”

Following widespread media coverage of Manik’s claims in parliament Jonathan’s mother, Cath Davies, called for a full inquiry into the accident “as somebody, somewhere, is responsible for having allowed that quad to be on the island, and those keys to be available to the young man who was unlicensed and unregistered.”

According to registration papers obtained by Minivan News, the 172 kilogram Suzuki 2007 King Quad 700 4X4 was imported on May 5 2007 and registered on August 2 the same year.

Minivan News also obtained a copy of Petre’s Swedish category B driving license, which would in Sweden, the UK and many other European countries, legally allow the operation of a four-wheeled motorcycle as well as a car.

According to Police Inspector Mohamed Riyaz, who is leading the investigation into the Kuredu accident, under Maldivian law foreign nationals with a valid overseas license are also able to drive in the country for a period of up to 90 days without a local license.

Riyaz said police were in the process of determining whether the quad-bike had been appropriately registered. He confirmed that the vehicle had been registered as a tractor under the ‘C1′ category “used for vehicles transporting goods, not passengers.”

“If it had been properly registered it would be under the A1 category and the driver would require a motorcycle license, as it has a fuel engine and is a very powerful 700cc,” he said.

He also noted that the vehicle was not designed to carry passengers other than the driver, and carried a warning to that effect.

Filip Petre was seriously injured in the accident and remains in hospital in Male’, following the confiscation of his passport on the order of the Criminal Court. Inspector Riyaz said that an application for Petre to be taken abroad for further medical treatment three days ago had been declined, “as police believed that based on the medical report there was no imminent threat to his life.”

Inspector Riyaz said Petre’s family had approached the court to appeal the decision, and added that police were open to his treatment overseas if medical opinion was that urgent diagnosis was necessary.

In a statement to Minivan News, Filip’s father Lars Petre, a shareholder in the resort, described the accident as “by far the most tragic event in my life, and words cannot describe how saddened we are. I and my family are deeply concerned with errors on some of the media reports and we are also deeply saddened by some accusations made at my son.”

“My son Filip Petre (23 years) was taking the two guests home, to the other side of the island, when he experienced some difficulties with the bike, and crashed headlong into a tree on the road. The crash took two lives and badly injured my son.

“He fell unconscious with the crash and woke up some time later to find the two deceased also lying on the road. He immediately called for help and worked alongside with the doctor who arrived to try and save the victims of the crash, while he was bleeding himself.

“The quad bike which my son was driving was registered and my son Filip is licensed to drive such vehicles. My son Filip and his brother Tom (who was the first to arrive at the scene of the accident with the doctor), the management and staff of Kuredhu have been cooperating with the police investigation fully, and I give every assurance that they will continue to do so in the future.

“We understand the grief of the families who lost their loved ones in the accident, and we also respect the duty of the Maldives Police Service to investigate the matter. However the fact remains that what happened on August 6 is an accident, a very tragic fatal event, which my son no anyone else had the power to change.

“I wish to assure to the families of the deceased, the media and the public that there was absolutely no ill intention whatsoever in this accident. While my son and the staff of Kuredhu are shattered with the result of the accident, we remain helpless to change anything that has happened.

“The management of Kuredhu will do whatever is possible to corporate with the investigation and to avoid further distress for all families concerned.”


13 thoughts on “Quad-bike in Kuredu fatal accident was registered and driver licensed”

  1. Finally finally finally. Can Reeko Moosa and his supporters please shut up now, or at least have the decency to apologize for their blatant use of this tragic incident to attack their opponents.

  2. Hey man please don’t try to con, you think we are barbaric fishermen who don’t understand things like diving. We know about the quantity of alcohol people like your son consume. Probably when your son was driving he did know what he was doing. This is the truth.
    Your protector the grate don short buri Champa cannot buy the police or judicial system with his ill made dirty money any more. Keep this in your brain man.

  3. The lack of any information in the early days resulted in much wild speculation.
    After this statement, it now seems the quad bike was correctly imported and registered, however the use of a "tractor" by Petre to carry passengers when it was neither authorised nor designed to do so lead to the deaths of the two guests.
    The Police spokesman did not say if any test for alcohol level was carried out on Petre, and for that matter also the deceased guests. This should have been done, as alcohol consumption had to be a vital factor. From experience, people do not remain in a bar until 4am drinking coffee. If no such tests were done, the police have missed vital evidence. The guests made their own decisions to accept the ride, but ultimate responsibility rests with the driver.

  4. Lets no forget that two young people lost their lives, and they have left a little boy without any parents. It was a tragic accident, and the poor driver will have to live with that for the rest of his life.

    Everything else is unimportant.

  5. It's crass by normal social standards to comment on this matter any further.

    However politicians of a certain type have stooped even lower in this country.

    Can't say I'm surprised. Driving under the influence, registered or unregistered vehicle or not, the legal question is whether those riding passenger knew about the state the driver was in. If so, then this is still an accident and a tragic one.

  6. I would just like to say that i was on the Island when this Happened i Saw the Crash scene and the track the Quad bike came down and the only way he would have crashed into that tree he would had to have been going so fast or to drunk FACT..
    I Feel so sorry for the family.

  7. "suzy" is right, no sane person will go away from this without feeling guilt for the rest of their life.. he got his punishment, he will thnk of this for the rest of his life.. we all make mistakes

  8. Who made these keys available to a drunk man at 4am?
    And why are guests not warned that these vehicles are on, and being used on the island as transport?
    Not in fitting with the idyllic, remote and beautiful island its tourism thrives on is it?
    This man may suffer, but that is nothing in comparison to how their child, family and friends are suffering.
    Someone is responsible, an investigation will determine whether driver, resort, transport authorities or holiday companies.

  9. A lot of these "quadbikes" or ATVs are used as tractors in some countries. Tractors does not only mean the ones we see in Maldives. They have the capacity to tow small trailers and are used in farms too.
    Some have the capacity to carry passengers and is not classified as a motor cycle. Now some versions even have a steering wheel instead of a motor cycle like handle bars.
    However, they have a tendency to flip over sometimes if not used properly. I guess this is what has happened. Just because the Police have not come out and said much does not mean that they would not have tested the driver for alcohol content.
    It is tragic that people jump on the political bandwagon everytime something like this happens.
    I have to say that Reeko takes the biscuit in this case.

  10. This alcoholic Filip Petre must be brought to justice to according to Maldivian law and regulation.
    You guys think Maldivian police are duds and they will not know when they see a drunk! Also they will not understand the smell of booze! Alcoholic Petre would have smelled like Vodka distillery or beer brewery and would have smelt a mile away! I bet he will still stink of liquor after a week or so.
    The signor Petre is making statements saying that his son is like an angle, what a pity! This man is portraying an image that his son is victim too. This shameless clown is forgetting that his son is responsible to make an innocent BABY AN ORPHAN. This clown should understand he and his partner short buri Champa can’t bribe the Maldivian police or judicial system anymore and he can’t run away avoiding judicial procedure. Be assured Petre your son will have to go through legal procedure and have to face the Prosecutor General. I hope that the hearing judge will be god fearing and hates drunks and drug smoking clients.

  11. @tsk tsk "the legal question is whether those riding passenger knew about the state the driver was in". I imagine that as they were all drinking together in the same bar until 4am, the answer to your question is probably yes. It is also probable that they were all in the same state, where common sense is usually absent. I have to keep saying "probable" until the Police hopefully reveal the respective alcohol levels.

  12. *throws a glare and feel this is not true

    I guess there is a lot of stories to this..definitly there was blood everywhere.on the stones; on the ground, etc. usually. when 125CC bike crashes, the driver is hauled straight out. I cn imagine how a 700CC would crash..bt. yeah driver survived and others died...v cant b the judge of anythn here. Police have too much covering up done already.

    *looks up and stares away*

  13. I doubt that police took the breath test for alcohol since it is not available in some parts of the maldives, also if the driver remained untested for 6 hours or more, there is absolutely no point talking this test cos he will come out clean! I believe he was taken to the hospital and police only questioned him the next day!


Comments are closed.