Police arrest, charge two men for eating during Ramadan fasting hours

Police have arrested and charged two men who were caught eating during fasting hours.

Police identified the pair as Mohamed Saeed, 42 of Henveiru Happy Villa and Ibrahim Ali, 18 of Violet house in Maafaru, Noonu Atoll. Both names were sent to the Prosecutor General (PG)’s office for prosecution.

In a statement, police said the pair were discovered eating behind the Alimas Carnival Stage at 2:00pm on July 12, 2013. The investigation was concluded by July 24, and sent for prosecution.

Police Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef said eating during fasting hours was a crime under the Maldivian penal code.

‘’I think, although I am not entirely sure, it is a crime punishable by a sentence of up to one year in jail,’’ he explained.

Fasting hours during the month of Ramadan are from dawn to sunset. In the Maldives the dawn prayer is normally called at 4:40am and sunset at 6:23 pm.

During Ramadan in 2010, four men were arrested after they were caught eating in daylight hours. Two of those arrest were also made near the Alimas Carnival stage.

During the same Ramadan, another group of people were arrested while they were eating behind a construction site on the land behind the Dharubaaruge convention centre.

In 2009 a man was arrested for eating in daytime during Ramadan and was sent to the Criminal Court. The Criminal Court fined him MVR 500 (US$32) and ordered him to reinstate that day’s fast.