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Runaway teenager in custody: Police

Ahmed Aiham
02 July 2019, MVT 09:08
Commissioner of Maldives Police Service Mohamed Hameed making announcement at symposium. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU.
Ahmed Aiham
02 July 2019, MVT 09:08

Commissioner of Maldives Police Service Mohamed Hameed revealed that Police found the runaway teenager, Shaim Abdulla, on Monday when Police forcefully entered a house in capital city Male' and took him under custody.

Shaim, a minor who disappeared from 'Kudakudhinge Hiya', the government-managed orphanage for children under state custody, in the suburb of Villimale', was reported missing on June 18. Police publicly announced the search on June 20.

At the time of his disappearance, Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services remained silent about the matter and withheld information about Shaim being under state custody.

However, the ministry eventually confirmed that Shaim disappeared from 'Kudakudhinge Hiya', after a Juvenile Court order stating that the minor ran away from the orphanage started circulating on social media.

Until then, the Gender Ministry maintained that Shaim was not registered at the state orphanage.

Gender Minister Shidhatha Shareef is under heavy scrutiny following the disappearance, with opposition People's National Congress (PNC) calling for her resignation.

Moreover, noting that 'Kudakudhinge Hiya' was established to take care of children under state custody, PNC accused the ministry of gross negligence for failing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children under state care.

According to the ministry, the boy was taken into state care from an "environment of crime" to conduct further assessments.

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