Four arrested in guesthouse raid on charges of prostitution

Four people were arrested in a guesthouse raid by police on Tuesday night (March 19) as part of an ongoing operation to curb prostitution in Male’.

The latest arrests take place just one week after police raided ‘Roma Beauty and Wellness Centre’ – a beauty salon in Male’ – and arrested 10 individuals on charges of prostitution.

Local media reported that the Tuesday night raid took place at a local guesthouse called ‘Relax @ Kangaroo Inn’ located on Dhiggaamaage in the Heniveru ward of Male’.

Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef said today (March 20) that two Maldivian men and two Thai women were arrested on Tuesday night around 8:30pm in an “intelligence-led operation”.

“Police received an arrest warrant before raiding one of the rooms within the guesthouse, where the suspects were found naked and engaged in sexual activity.

“Following a search of the room, a number of [sex] toys and over MVR 4000 (US$260) were found by police,” Haneef told Minivan News.

Refuting a report in SunOnline that claimed the Relax @ Kangaroo Inn guesthouse was being run as a brothel, Haneef stated: “We never made a comment to suggest that claim.”

Manager of Relax @ Kangaroo Inn Mohamed Hamid confirmed to Minivan News today that the premises had been raided by police.

“We had no idea that the two men had been with prostitutes at the guest house. The police just came, took them outside and then they were gone,” he added.

Last week, four Maldivians, four Thai women and two Bangladeshi men were arrested in the beauty salon raid.

Police claimed that when police raided the salon four of the 10 people inside the premises were naked and involved in sexual activities.

When police searched the premises of Roma Beauty and Wellness Centre they discovered MVR13,000 (US$845) and “tools used for sexual activities”.

Police said the office of Roma Beauty and Wellness Centre was also searched, where police discovered “other items’’ in connection with the case.


Arrested 98 prostitutes since March: police

Maldivian police have revealed that they have arrested 98 prostitutes in Male’ since March this year, including some expatriate males.

According to police, 58 of the alleged prostitutes have now been deported and sent back to their countries.

In one instance police said a Bangladeshi expatriate who was caught and deported had changed his name and crossed the Maldivian border by changing his information. Police said the person was arrested a second time for involvement in prostitution.

Police custody currently hold four Thai women, two Bangladeshi women and men, and three Maldivians in detention, all of them whom arrested in massage parlors on suspicious of being involved in prostitution.

According to the police statement, police have so far confiscated Rf138783 [USD9011] and USD3155 [Rf48587] found in massage parlors and alternative medical centres closed by the police for running prostitution.

Police said that since March, they have closed down 25 businesses operating as brothels in different operations conducted to reduce serious and organised crime.

The statement quoted police Inspector Mohamed Dhaudh as saying that three businesses were shutdown in March, three businesses shutdown in April, five businesses shutdown in May and six businesses shutdown in June, five businesses shutdown in July, one in August and four closed down in September.

Dhaudh said the operations to raid those businesses were mainly conducted by police intelligence and officers from the serious and organised crime department.

After the new government came in to power, police began special operations to curb the rise in prostitution in the Maldives.

In a mega protest held in Male’ on December last year by a coalition of the then-opposition parties, they demanded Mohamed Nasheed’s government close down all the spas and massage parlors in Male’ accused of running prostitution.