Abdulla Luthfee, the mastermind behind the terror plot of November 3, 1988 which killed 19 Maldivians, has been at the Maldivian Embassy in Sri Lanka for nearly two months, confirms Maldivian authorities.
News of Luthfee hiding inside the embassy gained public attention following a tweet by former Home Minister Umar Naseer.
Maldives Police Service issued a press statement last Monday evening, confirming Luthfee surrendered himself to embassy officials on May 1.
It is believed Luthfee surrendered himself to embassy officials amid sweeps by Sri Lankan security forces in the aftermath of the Easter bombings on April 21.
It is unclear why neither the embassy, the Foreign Ministry, the police, or any other State authority did not disclose news of the surrender of a fugitive who has been on the run for nearly a decade.
The police said that Luthfee is now in their custody. However, the statement doesn’t make it clear when Luthfee was taken into police custody, or when the embassy alerted the police to the fact that Luthfee had surrendered himself.
Luthfee, who is sentenced to life, was granted permission by the then-Maldivian administration to travel to Sri Lanka for medical treatment on January 16, 2010.
He has been on the run ever since.
The Criminal Court, in 2012, issued an order on the police and Maldives Correctional Service to find Luthfee, arrest him, and ensure he serves his sentence.
The Interpol red notice on Luthfee was posted after the court order.
Home Minister Umar Naseer, during his time in office, offered a USD 10,000 reward for anyone who shares information which could lead to Luthfee’s arrest.