Kuredhu quad-bike unregistered and unauthorised for use, MDP MPs claim

A quad-bike that crashed into a tree in Kuredhu Resort killing two British tourists last week was neither registered nor authorised for use, MPs of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) claimed during debate on a motion without notice today.

The emergency motion proposed by MDP Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik noted that the King Quad 700 model bike was not legally registered at the Maldives Transport Authority while its driver Filip Eugen Petre – a Swedish national and son of a resort shareholder – did not have a license to operate the vehicle.

“Two kinds of vehicles are commonly used in Maldivian resorts,” Moosa said in his opening remarks of the debate. “That is vehicles used for lifting goods and golf carts or buggies for transporting guests.”

Moosa alleged in parliament that attempts were made to “to hide the boy [Petre] and put the blame [for the accident] on a Maldivian employee in the resort.”

The former MDP parliamentary group leader called on the government to investigate the accident “even if it involves bringing officials from the British government to uncover how this really happened.”

Other MDP MPs expressed concern about the impact of such incidents on the tourism industry and repeated calls for a thorough investigation.

“I don’t know for what reason such a vehicle used in big mountains or at high speeds should be used in resorts,” observed MP Ahmed Sameer, deputy parliamentary group leader of the ruling party.

Several opposition MPs however strongly objected to the motion, arguing that it should not have been tabled in the agenda as it represented “a personal attack” by Moosa.

Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Azim claimed that Moosa was motivated to submit the motion by DhiTV’s continuing coverage of alcohol bottles found in his car – a network owned by Champa ‘Uchoo’ Mohamed Moosa, who also owns the Kuredhu resort.

The motion was however approved for debate in a 29-7 vote.

“Some people who have resorts in this country are using private media to defame others and hide their crimes,” Moosa said, referring to DhiTV.

“It is noteworthy that some media connected to this resort has not covered any news of [the Kuredu accident].”

Moosa also strongly criticised resort owners for “mortgaging state property” and propping up an autocratic regime to enrich themselves.

MP Riyaz Rasheed of minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) meanwhile accused the MDP chairperson of corruption – in a US$21 million deal to reclaim land in Thilafushi – and suggested that Moosa should be evaluated to “see if he is even fasting today.”

Independent MP Ahmed Amir cautioned against speculation regarding the accident as foreign media could report “MPs implying in parliament that this was done by Maldivians.”

In his turn, Jumhooree Party (JP) MP Ibrahim Muttalib alleged that police destroyed or hid evidence in some criminal cases “probably on orders from the government.”

DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali meanwhile contended that the incident should not be debated at parliament as a police investigation was ongoing.