Police have arrested a 52 year-old man from the island of Bileiydhoo in Faafu Atoll on suspicion of molesting young children on the island.
Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed the man was arrested yesterday at 1:52pm, after they obtained an arrest warrant from the court.
‘’We can confirm that the man was accused of molesting young boys on the island,’’ Haneef said, adding that as the case involved minors police could not provide further details.
Bileiydhoo Council Chairman Abdulla Zuhury told Minivan News that the police arrested the man after obtaining a warrant.
‘’The case was not reported to the council, some islanders reported the case directly to the authorities and the Gender Ministry and the police are now conducting a joint investigation into the case,’’ Zuhury said.
‘’I can’t confirm the ages of the children he allegedly molested but I have heard that they were very young – around 5- 7 years-old,’’ he said.
Zuhury said police have summoned and questioned other people in connection with the case.
The island council of Bileiydhoo has told local newspapers that the man was a staff member at the island’s mosque, and that he allegedly molested the children inside his house.
According to local media, the man is married and has a disabled daughter.
Under the Act Number 12/2009 ‘Special Measure Applicable to Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse’, the penalty for child sex abuse is 10-14 years but can be extended to 15-18 years if the accused was in a position of trust with the children he or she abused.