Maldives Customs Service suspended two employees for illegally importing at least 21 vehicles.
Three cars, two pickup trucks and 14 motorcycles were confiscated from the reclaimed suburb of Hulhumale' on August 27 after they were imported in two separate containers disguised as wood shipments. The cost and freight charges of the aforementioned vehicles are estimated at MVR 586,000.
Commissioner General of Customs Ahmed Noomaan revealed to local media outlet Mihaaru that the suspension would remain in effect until the conclusion of the investigation launched concerning the matter.
Nooman also revealed that Customs had received information on how the vehicles were smuggled out of the harbour. However, he did not disclose the details as it might interfere with the investigation.
Maldives Customs Service previously released a statement guaranteeing that it would not hesitate to take necessary steps to maintain its integrity and that of its services.
Cases of illegal importation to avoid customs duties are reported intermittently. According to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other investigative bodies, such crimes are committed with the involvement of bribed customs officials.