Fishing vessel fined MVR700,000 for illegal long line fishing

The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture has fined a fishing vessel MVR700,00 (US$45,000) for partaking in illegal long line fishing.

A press statement from the ministry stated that the vessel, though licensed to operate in the Maldives, was fishing inside the economic boundaries within which long line fishing is illegal.

The Maldives Fisheries Act states that long line fishing can only be done by license holders 100 miles offshore in areas under the jurisdiction of the Indian Ocean tuna commission.

The fisheries ministry also noted that the offending vessel only sunk the long line to a depth of 36 meters, while the regulation states the long line has to be sunk up to 60 meters.

The ministry said that ensuring that vessels operating in the country are following the due procedure is one of the main priorities of the ministry along with the National Coast Guard.

Fisheries minister Dr Mohamed Shainee has pledged to take stronger measures against illegal fishing than his predecessors.


PPM, DRP fined over fraudulent membership forms

The Elections Commission (EC) has fined the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) over membership forms submitted in violation of the Political Parties Act.

The DRP was fined MVR5,000 (US$324) for submitting a number of membership forms with the fingerprint of the same person whilst the PPM was fined MVR6,000 (US$389) for submitting forms in violation of regulations.

The PPM was levied a higher fine as it was the party’s second offence, the EC noted.

In January, the ruling party was fined MVR5,000 after it emerged that a membership form was submitted on behalf of a deceased individual.

In June 2013, the Anti-Corruption Commission discovered that two membership forms submitted by former President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s now-defunct Gaumee Ihthihaad Party “were signed by persons who had passed away prior to the forms being sent to the EC.”


MDP and Adhaalath fined MVR 5000 over fraudulent membership forms

The Elections Commission has fined religious Adhaalath Party and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party MVR5000 (US$324) for submitting fraudulent membership forms.

According to the EC, the two parties had submitted membership forms where one individual had put fingerprints on different forms.

In January, the EC fined the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives and its ally the Jumhooree Party for submitting membership forms on behalf of deceased people.


Man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for importing 0.8 grams of Xanax

A Maldivian man has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a MVR 50,000 (US$3,217) fine for importing less than one gram of a widely prescribed anti-anxiety drug.

Shafeeq Ibrahim of Seeni Hithadhoo, Soama was sentenced by the Criminal Court after confessing to importing drugs into the Maldives after arriving in Male on flight on October 7, 2012, local media reported.

A test of the substance that was carried into the country in two packets revealed it to contain 0.8314 grams of the commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drug Alprazolam, also known as Xanax.

Director Department of Judicial Administration Ahmed Maajid told Minivan News on Monday (March 11) that Shafeeq had not been caught with any substance other than Alprazolam.

“It is a pharmaceutical drug, but it is included in Schedule 2 of the Narcotics Act, and it is, by virtue of the act, an offence to import it [Alprazolam] unless it is by a licensed pharmacy,” Maajid said.

Despite the Xanax being the most popular psychiatric drug in the United States – according to American publication Forbes – Australian media reported the pharmaceutical drug to be as “addictive as heroin and harder to stop using”.

Criminal Court has ordered Shafeeq to pay the MVR 50,000 within a period of one month, according to local media.

Death penalty for illegal drug smuggling: NDA

In February, National Drug Agency (NDA) Chairperson Lubna Zahir called for the death penalty for those found to be importing illegal narcotics into the Maldives.

Speaking on state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM), Lubna claimed that drug importation needed to be in the same category as murder.

“We can only prevent drugs from coming into the Maldives by implementing the death penalty against them. Importing drugs is not a less serious crime.

”One solution to this is to implement the death penalty against those who bring in drugs and commit murder,” Lubna said.

Lubna requested parliament include the death penalty as the most severe punishment for drug smugglers when passing relevant laws.


MVR 3000 fine for man who hit police officer

A man who attacked a policeman during the Usfasgandu take over in 2012 has been fined MVR 3000 (US$194.81), local media reported.

The Criminal Court ruled that Hussain Faheem of Thaa Madifushi Faransaage hit the policeman in the chest whilst he was on active duty on May 29, 2012.

Faheem has been ordered to pay the fine within one month to the court.


Two Pakistani nationals fined MVR 100,000, sentenced to life for drug trafficking

The Criminal Court today sentenced two Pakistani nationals to 25 years prison and fined the pair MVR 100,000 (US$6666) each.

The pair were given a month to pay their fines.

The court identified the two Pakistanis as Ishfaq and Imthiyaz Khan.

The Criminal Court ruling said that on February 12 of this year the pair arrived in the Maldives around 12:51am early morning on Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL107.

Imthiyaz and Ishfaq both confessed that they had swallowed a large amount of illegal drugs in bullet-sized packets. When the drugs found inside their body was tested it was showed to be containing Diamorphine, a substance found in heroin is banned under section 1 of the Drug Act.

The court determined that both men had violated the Maldives Drug Act and sentenced them accordingly.

Last Wednesday, the Criminal Court sentenced Ali Ugail of Hulhudhoo in Addu City after the court found him guilty of trafficking illegal drugs into the Maldives.

The court said Ugail arrived to the Maldives on March 29 on Air India Flight number AI263 carrying 76 bullet-sized packets containing Diamorphine.

Ugail confessed to the crime in court and was also sentenced  to 25 years and a fine of MVR 100,000.

Police statistics issued today by the Statistics and Analysis Unit show that in the first 10 days of Ramadan, 63 drug-related cases were filed by police.


BML fined Rf10,000 for not publishing quarterly report

The Capital Market Development Authority (CMDA) has fined the Bank of Maldives Plc for upto Rf10,000 (US$648) after the bank failed to publish the quarterly report for the last three months of 2011 before the requested due date.

According to a statement released on Sunday, the companies listed under under the Securities (Continuing Disclosure Obligations of Issuers) Regulations, including BML, must produce a quarterly report after every three months, within the following 30 days.

However, CMDA noted that BML failed to produce fourth quarterly report for last year within the given 30 day period and the 37 day extension which ended on March 8.

Therefore under the 17 section of the regulations, the bank has been fined Rf 10,000 (US$648) and ordered to publish the report by March 15.

According to the bank, the report has been delayed due to a pending audit, local newspaper Haveeru reported.

The fourth quarterly report requires more work as it must be published with annual figures that must be audited prior to publication, the bank said.


Prices must be public: Economic Development Ministry

Shops are required to publicly identify items exempt from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Economic Development Ministry has ordered.

The ministry also requires businesses that charge GST on their goods and services to display their Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) registration certificate.

Unregistered businesses may not charge GST and wholesale and retail prices should also be viewable.

Businesses that violate these regulations will be fined between Rf500-10,000. A second offense will incur a fine between Rf5,000-10,000.


VB sports fined by FIFA

VB Sports Club has been fined by FIFA over the contract terminations of two foreign players in 2007.

The two players, Sergio and Bovaria, both from Argentina, were among the first foreign players bought by the club after its re-branding from Island Football Club, to VB Sports.

According to Haveeru the club CEO has confirmed that club had been fined by FIFA, but did not know the exact amount.

However, Haveeru reported that the amount was believed to be USD 50,000.

The reason for the contract termination was due to the players not being up to standard. The only game they played was the tsunami charity match, and both had given a very poor performance.

Their contracts were terminated before the season had started.

Haveeru reports that the club is barred from participating in the AFC cup, until they paid the fine.

Over the last few weeks VB have been signing many big names in preparation for the AFC cup.