Media reports state that the former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor has been arrested by Indian authorities upon his illegal entry at Tuticorin. He was reportedly apprehended by Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials on Thursday from Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) port in Tamil Nadu, for allegedly trying to enter India illegally.
However, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in his official statement said they were trying to ascertain the veracity of the reports and would contact the Maldives government for further information.
Raveesh Kumar, MEA on reports of arrest of Former Vice President of Maldives Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor in India: We are trying to ascertain the veracity of the reports. We will contact their government and find out if these reports are true. pic.twitter.com/zGLTEzZG3S
— ANI (@ANI) August 1, 2019
According to reports, Adeeb is being questioned by central government agencies for allegedly trying to enter India illegally. Adeeb is believed to have travelled to India in a Virgo 9 tug boat, which was returning after unloading gravel in Indonesia. He was posing as a crew member.
Officials said that Adeeb was travelling to the country without any valid papers and a probe was on to find out why the Maldivian politician had tried to enter India in an unauthorized manner.
The ship started its return journey to Tuticorin on July 27 with 10 people on board. “The Indian crew told the ship’s owner about the new man on it,” a senior police officer said. On being alerted by the shipowner, officials from the customs, Coast Guard and the intelligence agencies went to the ship and questioned the former vice president of Maldives.
Meanwhile, officials are yet to grant permission to the cargo ship, which carried Adeeb to dock at the Tuticorin Old Port in Tamil Nadu.
An eyewitness shared a video of the alleged arrest with the Maldives Independent.
Video of former vice president Adeeb’s arrest from the Tuticorin port in India pic.twitter.com/SmzRlG2qaF
— Maldives Independent (@IndependentMV) August 1, 2019
According to the Maldivian daily, Adeeb had been freed two weeks ago from a house arrest. He had been serving a 15 days contempt of court sentence and was freed two weeks ago. Adeeb had, for the last three years, been in prison on charges of corruption and trying to assassinate the then Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, by blowing his speedboat in September 2015. In November last year, he was transferred to house arrest following Yameen’s defeat in the elections. Adeeb had been treated in Pune for an eye problem last month.
His 15 years sentence was squashed by the appeal court in 2019. The Supreme Court had, however, imposed a travel ban on Adeeb in late June. His passport was withheld after the Prosecutor General’s office filed appeals challenging the High Court ruling that set aside his convictions.