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Immigration begins operation to identify undocumented expats

Shahudha Mohamed
30 June 2020, MVT 17:31
Undocumented immigrants taken under the custody of authorities from islands. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Shahudha Mohamed
30 June 2020, MVT 17:31

Maldives Immigration, on Monday, announced a special operation to identify undocumented migrant workers based in islands across the archipelago and bring them under Immigration's custody.

According to the institution, the operation is currently underway, conducted with assistance from Maldives Police Service as well as respective island councils.

Immigration stated that 22 undocumented expatriates were identified in Himmafushi in Kaafu Atoll, and Dhangethi and Maamigili in Alif Dhaalu Atoll, on Monday alone.

The aforementioned workers are placed in the care of authorities.

In addition to undocumented expats, the operation is also locating migrants across the country, who threaten social harmony.

Maldives Immigration has formerly launched various operations to identify undocumented workers, with little success.

However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities as well as several foreign missions in Maldives have been working to arrange chartered flights for repatriation.

Accordingly, over 3000 expatriate workers have returned home till date.

Bangladeshi citizens make up the majority of the expatriate population in Maldives, which numbers at over 144,600, out of which authorities had previously estimated that 63,000 were undocumented.

Indian and Sri Lankan citizens also make up a considerable part of the Maldivian expat population.

Most of the workers reside in capital Male', one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

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