Repatriation of castaways delayed by lack of documents

Police Sergeant Abdul Muhusin has said police are holding 25 castaways in police custody in Dhoonidhoo, while waiting for their respective countries to identify them and provide necessary documents.

Muhusin said that all the castaways would be repatriated when they are identified by their countries.

”The latest castaways (six Somalians) who were rescued on May 16 are currently being kept in Dhoonidhoo custodial,” Muhusin said. ”They were brought there after they were discharged from hospital.”

Muhusin said that many of the castaways carried no passport or identity cards, or any document clarifying who they were and where they were from.

”That’s why it’s taking some time to repatriate them,” Muhusin said.

Police said that the 25 castaways included seven people who were saved on December 1 last year, five people rescued on December 5, seven people saved on May 12 this year and the six men recently discovered in a dinghy near Makunudhoo.

”Police are investigating everyone,” Muhusin said. ”They have claimed that they were out for fishing.”

”They have not been arrested,” Muhusin emphasised.

State Home Minister Ahmed Adil said the investigation of the castaways was still ongoing and he had no idea when they could be repatriated.

State Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem said that the Somalian government and Maldivian government together were trying to identify all the men who claimed to be Somalians.

”We have sent the Somalian government pictures of the castaways,” Naseem said.

He said he had no information about the Iranian vessel which was found in Maldivian waters in May, referring Minivan News to the home ministry

However, Adil said he had no information about Iranian vessel.

In May the Maldives Coastguard rescued an Iranian fishing vessel in Maldivian territorial waters, discovering that the crew have been deprived of water and food for several days.

Another Somalian boat was found with a crew of six men on board drifting near the island of Makunudhoo in Haadhaalu Atoll.

Makunudhoo islanders who rescued the men said it appeared they had been drifting in the tiny 12-15 foot vessel for three months without food or water.


4 thoughts on “Repatriation of castaways delayed by lack of documents”

  1. This exactly the coments I have made on 4th June..
    Radhun on Fri, 4th Jun 2010 7:54 AM

    I am just wondering how does our system work. MNDF,POLICE,MEDICAL SECTOR & THE ISLAND administrations seems all confused and has no idea of what they are talking about. At least POLICE & MNDF will surely have a proper STANDARD OPERATING PROCEEDURES.

    The next thing that came to my mind is about these Somalians. It is apparent that there seem to be an increase on similar castaways.If I am not wrong some months back there was another boat with belieaved to be Somalians and there is still under Maldives captivity.

    I believe these are actually pirates who may have lost their way due to engine failier or for whatever reason. They would have drifted 100’s of miles to reach our waters, passing thru busy shipping lanes and wonder why they were not rescued.

    These people have no identities to prove they Somalians.My concern is will the Somalian Govt…If a Govt of Somalia exists, accept these people.

    This is a very seriouse concern that our Govt should look into otherwise we will have another re-settlement of Somalian Pirates in Maldives.

  2. A famous castaway was Leggi Saalim, purported to be from Zanzibar. Now, had he been sent back to his place of birth, Maldivian recent history would read different.

  3. Why are we Maldivians so xenophobic? Why do we need to keep these castaways in detention? This is definitely not something cultural. Throughout history, we have been welcoming of both visitors and castaways.
    Shame on us Dhivehin. I wonder if, as predicted, Maldives really sinks within the near future, and we all had to seek refuge elsewhere, would we appreacitate it if some neighbouring country decided to accept us all- provided we were kept in detention- as mixing us with them might threaten or corrupt their society.


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