An undocumented Bangladeshi national has been discovered dead with severe head injuries at an uninhabited house in Laamu Atoll Gan Island today.
Ishag Yoosuf, the 65-year-old caretaker of the house, said he discovered the farmworker’s body at 7:00am. He is known as Bassan.
“I went to pick up some tools to paint my house. Bassan was lying face up on the veranda. His face was covered with a pillow. The pillow was all bloodied. The right side of his face was smashed in. Blood was splattered all over the walls up to 8 feet,” he said.
Bassan, a tall dark man in his late twenties, has worked in the Maldives for ten years, Ishag said.
The caretaker had last spoken to Bassan on Tuesday, but said he had not reported any problems.
“He told me he had asked the owner who is living in Malé if he could sleep in the house. There is no toilet there. Only the veranda he could sleep in. He said he was eating fine. Apparently he had paid a company to get food,” Ishag said.
The owner of the house, Thoha Waheed, denied Bassan had asked for permission to sleep at the vacant house.
“I don’t know how he came to live there. I know the man, but he never asked me to let him stay at the house,” he said.
The police said the murder occurred 24 hours before the body was discovered. The serious and organized crime department is investigating the case.
Bassan’s death is the third apparent murder of Bangladeshi workers this year. In March 22, a 25-year-old Bangladeshi named Shaheen Mia was stabbed to death in a Malé café.
Two days later, the naked body of a young man named Kazi Bilal was found with a piece of cloth around his neck in Alif Alif Atoll Thoddoo.
The vice president of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), Ahmed Tholal expressed concern over the Maldives’ failure to protect migrant workers.
“We have been and still are unable to provide protection for expatriates,” he said.
Some 124,000 immigrant workers live in Maldives, the immigration department has said. Some 30,000 are not documented.
The former Bangladeshi High Commissioner for Maldives Selina Mohsin has described the situation of Bangladeshi workers in the country as “bizarre and horrifying.”
In 2014, the police rescued a Bangladeshi held captive in an accommodation block for migrant workers.
In April two migrant workers were kidnapped, robbed and beaten in a recruitment and employment agency in the capital Male’ City.
Another Bangladeshi was discovered in chains in 2009.