Parliament rejects emergency motion on espionage at airport

Maavah MP Mohamed Saeed. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament, on Monday, rejected the emergency motion submitted calling on the government to strengthen security measures at Velana International Airport (VIA) following the arrest of two foreigners in late August on suspicions of espionage, by use of spy cams at the airport.

The emergency motion submitted to the parliament by Maavah MP, former Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed was rejected by the votes of 34 parliamentarians. Only six members had voted in favor of accepting the motion.

Police detained two foreigners at VIA on August 28, later taking them to police headquarters for questioning in connection to an ongoing investigation. They were formally arrested at the police headquarters and remanded in custody for 10 days.

The two are reportedly Indian nationals suspected of espionage. They had reportedly been at the airport with spy cams.

In his emergency motion, MP Saeed said that international media outlets had reported concerning stories regarding the case. He also alleged that an Indian government official had arrived in Maldives following the incident, requesting the release of the two suspects.

“After this meeting, the police had issued another report in place of the original report with respect to the case. This is a pre-planned, dangerous act. It has been revealed that this threatens neighboring countries as well,” he had said.  

Underscoring that the police had revealed two Indians were arrested in connection to the case over threat to national security – MP Saeed stressed that the police submitted evidence of espionage to the court. He alleged that some individuals involved in the case have fled Maldives.

“The police are not briefing the media with adequate information regarding the case. Police are hiding these matters from citizens as well,” he added.

MP Saeed further alleged that the police are unaware of the current whereabouts of the two suspects who were arrested in connection to the case. He also said that security measures at VIA have not been strengthened following the incident.

He added that a little matter such as this, may impact the basis of the Maldivian economy, tourism.

Therewith, in his motion, he said he is calling on the government to strengthen security measures at VIA in order to protect the Maldivian economy.