Maldives deports 25 Sri Lankans over visa violations and drug offenses


The Government of Maldives has deported 186 foreign nationals, including 25 Sri Lankans, accusing them of committing crimes such as visa violations and drug offenses.

Among the deportees, the highest number of individuals were from Bangladesh (83), followed by India (43), Sri Lanka (25) and Nepal (08).

However, the date of the deportation of these foreigners is still unknown, as per sources.

The news of the deportation comes amid an ongoing India-Maldives diplomatic row, after the Maldivian home ministry said they have undertaken efforts to shut down businesses operating illegally in the country with earnings deposited to bank accounts held by foreigners.

The Maldives’ homeland security minister Ali Ihusan said his office is working with the finance ministry against ‘illegal businesses’ operating under various names. He said businesses operated by a foreigner instead of the registered owner also come under the ambit of the so-called ‘illegal businesses’.

The Home Ministry was working on shutting down such businesses and deporting the foreigners who operate them, Ihusan said.

If the registrar believes, based on sufficient evidence, that a business is operated with a foreigner earning profits either directly or indirectly, the registration of such businesses will be terminated pursuant to a law enacted in December 2021.

Immigration Controller Shamaan Waheed said 186 foreigners found to have committed crimes have been deported from the Maldives.

The Maldives’ Immigration detained several people in multiple operations conducted to find foreign workers who committed criminal offences, out of whom those with valid documents and passports were deported, he said.

Immigration and police have been serially conducting raid operations two or three times a week, Shanahan said. The operations do not target any specific group, he added.