Former Maldivian minister, accused of sexual harassment, arrested in UK

Ali Waheed, Maldives former tourism minister, accused in multiple counts of sexual assaults charges, has been arrested in the United Kingdom after an Interpol notice was issued against him, media reports said

Aug 25, 2021
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Ali Waheed, Maldives former tourism minister

Ali Waheed, Maldives former tourism minister, accused in multiple counts of sexual assaults charges, has been arrested in the United Kingdom after an Interpol notice was issued against him, media reports said. He was hiding in the UK, evading prosecution in the cases in the Maldives. 

Waheed was dismissed by President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih in July last year after multiple female employees of the ministry leveled allegations against him. Later he was charged with seven counts of sexual assault. Earlier this year, a criminal court allowed him to travel to the UK on medical grounds. 

He was arrested on Wednesday while he was about to address a press conference there.  For months, he has been staying in the United Kingdom and was initially attending court hearings online from there. 

Earlier, on August 12, the Supreme Court sentenced him to 72 days in prison upon failing to return to the country despite repeated summons. The court had initiated a contempt proceeding against him, considering the disregard shown by him to the court’s orders. 

The former minister traveled to the UK in February this year after the Criminal Court released his passport on a "medical referral". He was given four months to return to the court. Despite the expire of the relaxation period, he failed to return to the country.

Last year, several female employees of the tourism ministry had leveled serious allegations of sexually harassing them, misusing his official authority. Following the allegations, he was asked to resign from the position. President Solih dismissed him after he refused to resign, claiming the allegations against him were “politically motivated.”

(SAM)

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