Maldives ex-VP detained at TN port
Tamil Nadu

Maldives ex-VP detained at TN port

S Murari

Former Vice-President of Maldives Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor was detained by Indian authorities at Thoothukudi port in southern Tamil Nadu on Thursday when he came on a tug boat disguised a member of the crew.

Thoothukudi officials said he was not allowed to get off the boat as he had come without valid documents and he was being questioned by Central agencies. Officials acted after Bosco, a native of Thoothukudi and one of the nine crew members, informed the vessel’s agent about the illegal presence of Adheep. The agent told the Indian Coast Guard which intercepted the boat 15 nautical miles from the shore and brought it under its control.

Adheep and the other crew members, who are Indonesians, were questioned by officials from the Immigration, Research and Analysis Wing and the Q branch of the Tamil Nadu police.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi that Adheep tried to enter Indian illegally .   He said:” . As Adheep did not enter through the designated entry points and he had no valid documents, he has not been allowed into India”. He was now expected to return to his country, the spokesman said.

Reports said Adheep  (37) was Vice-President for just three month from July to October 2015 and was later sacked and put under house on charges of attempt to murder the then President Abdul Yameen and embezzlement of US $ 30 billion .

The Maldivian lower court convicted him in two cases and awarded 33 years imprisonment , but the Supreme Court quashed the conviction and ordered fresh trial . On court permission, he came to India along with his wife for treatment of glaucoma. He returned to Maldives only on July 7 .

Officials suspect that during his 22-day stay in India , he might have made arrangement to flee to Britain where former President Mohammed Rasheed is living after he was given asylum following his conviction in a corruption case.

Reports said Adheeb got into the barge off capital Male on July 28.. He told officials on Thoothukudi that he was fleeing his country as he faced a threat to his life.