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“Maldives Deports 186 Foreign Nationals, Including 25 Sri Lankans, Citing Visa Violations and Drug Offences”

The Government of Maldives has deported 186 foreign nationals, accusing them of crimes such as visa violations and drug offenses. Among the deportees, the highest numbers were from Bangladesh (83), followed by India (43), Sri Lanka (25), and Nepal (08).

However, the specific date of the deportation remains unknown, according to sources.

This development comes amidst an ongoing diplomatic row between India and Maldives. The Maldivian Home Ministry announced efforts to shut down businesses operating illegally in the country, with earnings deposited in bank accounts held by foreigners.

Homeland Security Minister Ali Ihusan stated that his office is collaborating with the finance ministry to combat ‘illegal businesses’ operating under various names. Businesses operated by foreigners instead of the registered owner also fall under the category of ‘illegal businesses.’

Ihusan mentioned that the Home Ministry is actively working on shutting down such businesses and deporting the foreigners involved. If the registrar, based on sufficient evidence, determines that a business is operated by a foreigner earning profits either directly or indirectly, the registration of such businesses will be terminated as per a law enacted in December 2021.

Immigration Controller Shamaan Waheed stated that 186 foreigners found to have committed crimes have been deported from the Maldives. The Maldives Immigration detained several individuals in multiple operations conducted to identify foreign workers who committed criminal offenses. Those with valid documents and passports were subsequently deported, he added. The Immigration and police have been conducting raid operations two or three times a week, with no specific group being targeted, Waheed further clarified.

(With inputs from agencies)

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