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Youth Minister defends parley with gang members

Ahmed Aiham
07 February 2019, MVT 19:01
Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Development Ahmed Mahloof. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
07 February 2019, MVT 19:01

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Development Ahmed Mahloof spoke in defence of his decision to hold discussions with Maldivian gang members.

Since the Minister's declaration that he would attempt to reduce crime by opening discourse with gangs, several members of the public have taken to harshly criticising the move.

According to the public, the government should impose penalties rather than holding discussions with gangs.

In an interview with local media Mihaaru, Minister Mahloof responded to the criticism by stating that it would be best to collaborate with the gangs to solve current issues.

"America and other countries we discussed about believe in this notion. First is discussions. Some think it's only eight people that are active in stabbing, that it is over once they are jailed, but in truth, the issue is way more serious", said the Minister.

The former MP declared that no deals have been made under the guise of these meetings and that he would refuse to turn a blind eye to their activities.

Minister Mahloof revealed that he was present when Maldives Police Intelligence briefed the United States State Department over the issue of gangs. He explained that the discussions do not entail that peace talks will be carried around in the name of the state.

The Minister added that although they are aware of certain people acquainted with gang activity, the government would not be compromised by the association.

Minister Mahloof stated that his belief that those involved in such gangs may still be saved from a life of crime.

"Absolutely, I want to save them from gangs"

Moreover, Minister Mahloof added that the mounting disapproval had hindered progress with regards to gang discussions.

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