Four girls who ran away from Villingili orphanage – ‘Kudakudhinge Hiya’ – have been found and were handed over to the Ministry of Health and Gender on Tuesday, police have confirmed.
According to local newspaper Haveeru, the ministry had previously revealed that the biggest problem at the orphanage was that the elderly children were not allowed to spend time outdoors.
In March last year police returned seven children who were found on a small vessel in the lagoon near Villimalé.
A further two girls were detained by the police in January 2013 after reportedly running away from the orphanage. The girls were held in Maafushi prison, prompting the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives to call for their immediate release.
Police have reported that a 17 year-old girl living in Male’ is still missing after four days of searching by her family.
The police identified the girl as Saha Waheed, 17, of Madaveli in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.
According to police, Saha was reported missing last Monday and police are currently trying to find out what she was last wearing.
Director of Police General Investigations, Hassan Hameed, told the press that Saha had sent a text message to her family after she left: “This incident occurred by a mistake. Don’t look for me. Really sorry.”
“We have searched the islands and several guest houses and yet there has been no sign of her,” Hameed said.
Local media expressed confusion over the phrase ‘this incident’ as it was neither mentioned in the text nor explained by the police.
Police provided no further details other than to say there were no issues between the girl and her parents.
Saha was studying at the Maldives National University and staying at her sister’s place, police said.
In June last year, police searched for a 14 year-old boy and eventually located him in Addu after three days of searching. The boy left home to attend the mosque for prayers his parents raised the alarm when he failed to return.
Anyone with information concerning Saha’s disappearance should contact police on 332 2111.