Police have arrested four suspects for the abduction and gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in a guest house in Male last weekend.
The girl was grabbed by the men while she was walking down the road around midday on December 11, forced into a car and taken to a guest house, Head of the Police Child Protection Unit, Superintendent Ali Shujau told the press on Thursday.
She was drugged by the men and gang raped, he said, adding that the men filmed the crime.
The four suspects were identified by the Police as 20 year-old Azmeel Ahmed of Hithadhooge, Seenu atoll Hithadhoo, 25 year-old Mohamed Azum of White Sea, Seenu atoll Maradhoo-Feydhoo, 19 year- old Ismail Muneez of Maafannu Hiyama and 21 year-old Ahmed Nabeeh Moosa of Maafannu Fennairu.
They all were arrested withing 34 hours after the police were alerted to the crime. All the suspects have previous criminal records for drug abuse and assaults, Shujau added.
According to the police the family reported the crime after the girl went home and told about it. Police did not reveal how the victim reached home.
Shujau noted that the girl could not give a clear statement of the attack, although she identified two of them by their “gang names”. He also added that it is too soon to say whether the attack was directed to her.
A similar case was also reported in March 2010, when group of 15 men abducted, drugged and gang raped a 20 year old girl on the island of Hithadhu in Addu City.
Shujau had earlier told the press that police investigations have revealed that school children aged 14 to 18 were being lured to guest houses by adults.
Police found that minors were sexually abused at guest houses after being lured through the internet, he said.
The reported sexual assaults on young girls, women and even female expatriate workers, has been on the rise at an alarming rate this year.
Police confirmed on Wednesday, that they had arrested four men on accusations of attempting to sexually assault a 15 year-old girl on Nolhivaramfaru in Haa Dhaalu Atoll. The girl fortunately escaped with no injuries, police said.
In October, police arrested two men and a minor on suspicion of raping an Indian nurse working in the island of Gulhi in Kaafu Atoll.
In another attack in September, group of five men including the chairman of an anti-drug NGO allegedly drugged and raped a 15 year old girl on the island of Guraidhoo in Kaafu Atoll.
In August police also arrested five men on the island of Innamaadhoo in Raa Atoll for allegedly raping a 16 year-old girl. While in the same month, an Indian gynecologist working at Hoarafushi Health Centre in Haa Alifu Atoll, was also attacked by a group of masked men at her house in August. She fought with the men and was able to escape.
A group of five were also arrested in May, on suspicion of gang raping an 18 year-old girl on Maabaidhoo in Laamu Atoll.
A 74-year-old woman was brutally raped by an alleged 19 year old on Hithadhoo in Addu City. She had to undergo surgery after the incident.
A 2006 study by the then Ministry of Gender and Family found that one in three Maldivian women aged 15-49 have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lives, while one in five women in the same age group reported experiencing this from an intimate partner.
Moreover, one in six women in the capital Male’ and one in eight countrywide reported experiencing childhood sexual abuse under the age of 15 years.