The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has launched a search operation for man who went missing during a boat journey between the capital Malé and Dhuvaafaru, in Raa atoll, on Friday.
Mohamed Shaneez, 36, is reported to have last been seen between 2:45am and 3am on Saturday, with fellow passengers only noticing his absence when the boat arrived in Dhuvaafaru at 9am.
The boat made a 6am stop at Maakurathu island, with conflicting media reports as to whether the Shaneez was still on board at this point.
Police have arrested three 17 year-old males and a 19 year-old man in connection with the gang rape and filming of a 20 year-old girl on the island of Dhuvaafaru in Raa Atoll.
Police would not provide further information on the matter, but said the case was now under investigation.
A member of the Dhuvaafaru Island Council told Minivan News on condition of anonymity that the incident occurred three days ago.
“They went out to drive a motorbike around the island and they stopped near the beach in the industrial zone of the island near the power house,’’ he said. “The case was not reported to the council but was reported directly to police, we only heard of it the next day.”
The councillor insisted to Minivan News that media reports of the incident were inaccurate.
“The four boys always hang out with this girl and she is not very well disciplined; it is very unlikely that anyone would have to rape her, it would be easier than that,’’ he claimed. “I think the girl reported it to police as a gang rape because they filmed the incident.”
‘’It’s very sad, I think the boys will be scared and worried, because they are not that type of guys,’’ he added.
The councillor said the detention period of the four suspects was extended to 15 days. All were from Dhuvaafaru, he said, and were being held in a detention centre on Ungoofaaru island.
President Dr Mohamed Waheed has inaugurated a water desalination plant on the island of Dhuvaafaru yesterday (April 13) as part of an ongoing tour of developments across North Maalhosmadulu Atoll.
The plant, which will be operated by the Male’ Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC), is claimed to be the first of an unspecified number of new high-tech facilities that will be established in the coming years to provide islanders with drinkable water, according to the president.
In a statement posted on the President’s Office website, Dr Waheed said that providing drinking water to some 60 islands annually came at a “huge expense” to the state, despite what he claimed was a “good amount” of rainfall in the country each year.
The Maldivian National Defense Force (MNDF) have started a project to improve the roads on Dhuvaafaru in Raa atoll.
According to the MNDF, many residents of the island are also taking part in the project.
This project is being conducted with the assistance of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.