The Edition


Man arrested in controversial tanker incident with North Korea, charged with attempt to overthrow govt

Farah Ahmed
10 March 2018, MVT 15:00
Chon Ma San and Xin Yuan 18 lying alongside each other with their lights turned on February 24, 22:30 / Source: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Farah Ahmed
10 March 2018, MVT 15:00

The local man who was arrested in relation to the controversial incident involving a Maldivian-flagged tanker that was spotted alongside a UN-blacklisted North-Korean tanker, has been charged with attempt to overthrow the government, along with a cache of serious charges.

Local businessman Abdullah Fahmy from Madaveli in Gaafu Dhaalu atoll was arrested last week over allegations of trading with the North Korean tanker; his identity was not divulged at the time of the arrest.

Mihaaru is aware that Fahmy is also being charged with bribery, forging official documents from the Ministry of Transport, terrorism and encouraging terrorist activities.

The police have accused the local businessman of duplicating a transport ministry stamp and using it to forge documents, and opening e-mail accounts under the names of the ministry’s former employees and using them send invalid e-mails to International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The police also accused him of bribing individuals to aid in overthrowing the ruling government.

Late February, the Japanese government reported seeing the tanker ‘Xin Yuan 18’, bearing a Maldivian flag near the North-Korean tanker ‘Chon Ma San’, which was designated as a vessel of targeted sanctions by the US government, in the East China Sea.

Japan’s foreign ministry had stated that the two vessels could have been engaging in ship-to-ship transfers and reported the incident to the UN Security Council Committee and countries with ties to North Korea and the Maldives.

The Maldivian government had quickly responded and claimed that the vessel was not registered in the country and warned of “aggressive action” against individuals who had illegally used Maldives’ flag on the vessel.

The President’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released statements condemning the use of Maldives’ flag “in a manner so as to tarnish the good standing reputation of our nation and that of our people” and said that it was investigating the matter very seriously.