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'Vermillion halted ferry services in violation of agreement'

08 September 2019, MVT 15:57
State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Ahmed Adil speak at press briefing on September 8, 2019. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED / MIHAARU
08 September 2019, MVT 15:57

Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation declared Sunday that Vermillion Maldives halted ferry services in the atolls of Meemu, Faafu and Dhaalu in violation of its agreement with the Ministry of Tourism.

Speaking at a press briefing, State Minister Ahmed Adil revealed that the government sought advice from Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath following Vermillion's termination of ferry services.

"[AG Office] advised us that Vermillion stopped [ferry services] in violation of the agreement", he said, adding that the transport ministry would discuss the issue with the tourism ministry in the coming week.

Adil stated that Vermillion awarded the provision of ferry services to another company with the permission of the government. Noting that the ferry service was part of the amended agreement, Adil said that the government could thus request the company in question to provide the service to the three atolls.

State-run Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) took over and recommenced the halted ferry services in the three atolls last month.

The tourism ministry leased two islands in Dhaalu Atoll to Vermillion Maldives for resort development, in return for ferry services in the three atolls. Despite halting the service, Vermillion still operates the two resorts, The St. Regis Maldives in Vommuli and aaaVeee Nature's Paradise in Dhoores.

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