Two men have denied charges of forcing a 14 year-old girl into child prostitution, the Criminal Court heard on Monday (March 11).
Ibrahim Manik of Heylhi, South Hulhudhoo and Hussain Manik of Hikiunimaage, S. Hulhudhoo in Addu Atoll, were accused of forcing the girl to “attend” to one Maldivian and four foreign men, local media reported.
The penalty for a person convicted of sexually abusing a child is 20 to 25 years imprisonment.
Police have arrested five Thai nationals and three male Maldivians inside ‘Herbal Beauty Salon’, located in the second floor of Maafannu Sherrif.
Police said the eight individuals were arrested after the police received information that prostitution was conducted at the location.
Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that five Thai women were arrested and three other Maldivian men were also arrested.
Shiyam said the men were still in police custody and that police were investigating the case.
The criminal court identified the five arrested Thai nationals as Neetha Seng Thong, Sutheetha Thanuvathu, Thaaniga Thuan Youth, Pacha Pon Punpheythu and Nicharda Konfan.
The three Maldivian men arrested as Hassan Zareer, Male’, Mujuthaba Abdulla of Hinnavaru in Lhaviyani Atoll and Ibrahim Abdul Hafiz of Ihavandhoo in Haa Alifu Atoll.
According to police the group were involved in sexual activities when the police raided the beauty salon.
Shutting down alternative medical centres that conduct sexual activities were one of the five demands made by the then-opposition coalition while Mohamed Nasheed was in power.
The former government then closed all the massage parlors and spas nationwide including those used for tourism purposes.
In a statement the Adhaalath Party has congratulated the police for the closing ‘Herbal Beauty Salon’ and thanked the Islamic Ministry for their role in it.
The party also appealed to all the citizens to cooperate with the government to erase prostitution from the Maldives.
According to local media, those arrested were taken to the Criminal Court, where their detention period was extended to five days.