Ahmed Adeeb, who was the Maldives Vice President in 2015, is being investigated by the Coast Guard.

Former Maldives Vice President detained from a shipping vessel near ThoothukudiJustshinan/ Wikimedia Commons/ CCBYSA4.0
news News Thursday, August 01, 2019 - 21:30

Ahmed Adeeb, the former Vice President of the Maldives, was detained by the Indian Coast Guard from a shipping vessel while he was attempting to enter India near Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu. While initial reports stated that he may be seeking political asylum in India, there has been no official confirmation on this. 

He was aboard the VIRGO 9, a Singapore-flagged merchant barge, which was carrying cargo from the VO Chidambaranar Port in Thoothukudi to the Maldives. During its return from the Maldives, ex-Vice President Adeeb is said to have boarded the vessel. Investigations are on to determine how he boarded the vessel, with Indonesian crew present on board, while it was on its way back to India.

Addressing media persons on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Ravish Kumar said, “I have just seen a couple of reports in the media about the reported arrest of the ex-Vice President of Maldives. We are trying to ascertain the veracity of these reports. I think we will, in due course, contact the state government and find out if these reports are indeed true and then we can update you.”

According to open-source data, the merchant vessel made entry into the port at 3: 47 pm on Thursday. Officials confirmed to TNM that Adeeb is currently being investigated by Coast Guard authorities at the VOC Port. 

Ahmed Adeeb, a businessman-turned-politician, was made Vice President of the island nation in 2015 by President Abdulla Yameen. In September 2015, just two months after he was sworn in as Vice President, an explosion aboard the Maldivian President's yacht saw Adeeb being accused of an assassination attempt and treason. While the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation carried out an investigation and stated that it found no evidence of a bomb being used in the attack, Adeeb was found guilty and given a 15-year jail term. He was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on terror charges for possession of firearms in a closed-door trial.

Having served three years in prison, the foreign leader was placed under house arrest last November. In May this year, the Supreme Court of Maldives quashed his 10-year conviction.

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