Additional arrest for blocking president’s motorcade

Opposition PPM protestors block the president's motorcade on March 20, 2023.

Police have made an additional arrest in connection to the deliberate blockage of the president’s motorcade earlier this week.

The incident in question took place on the night of March 20, near the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) headquarters in Male’ City. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s motorcade had been traveling en route to Muliaage after an event in Hulhumale’ when it ran into PPM protestors. Some of the protestors surrounded the motorcade and prevented its passage.

Four people were arrested in connection to the case the next day.

A police spokesperson confirms a fifth arrest was made in the case on Friday. The suspect, identified as a 54-year-old Maldivian male, has been remanded in custody of the police for five days.

Meanwhile, two of the four suspects originally arrested in the case were remanded in custody for 15 days, and the rest for five days.

The protestors had kept the motorcade blocked for a good 15 minutes.

The incident sparked concerns over the adequacy of the security provided to the president, and led to the suspension of the president’s security unit’s commander Colonel Abdulla Ibrahim. Deputy commander Major Ahmed Haleem has stepped in to serve as acting commander.

The incident is also under investigation by the Parliament’s Security Services Committee (241 Committee) as a serious issue.