MVR 27,000 per month for each expat in detention

Operation Kurangi, a multi-agency operation to identify illegal migrant workers, was launched on Thursday, May 02nd, 2024 -- Photo/ Moosa Nadheem

Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusan on Thursday, has said that for each expatriate held in detention the state spends MVR 27,000 per month.

The minister made the remarks at the inaugration ceremony held for Operation Kurangi on Thursday at K. Himmafushi.

Operation Kurangi, the multi-agency nationwide operation, was launched with the aim to "gain 100 percent biometrically confirmed accountability of migrant workers in Maldives".

After the launch ceremony, the minister said in a press meeting, that the general principle is to deport any expatriate guilty of a criminal offense within 48 hours.

Minister Ihusan stressed the Maldives government has to bear significant expenditure for each expatriate held in detention, for the duration of their detention.

Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusan; according to the minister, government spends MVR 27,000 per month on each detained expatriate -- Sun Photo/ Moosa Nadheem

"Per month, we spend MVR 27,000 per expatriate in detention. This is a significant cost for the state, and we do not wish to continue bearing this cost in the future," Minister Ihusan commented.

As such, the minister said if an expatriate found guilty of a criminal offense, would be deported within 48 hours, provided their offense is not severe or if their offense has not gravely infringed any rights of the Maldivian citizen.

"We are taking 48 hours to process their tickets, verify their identity and attend to other similar formalities," the minister said.

Highlighting the cases of undocumented expatriates, the minister said their deportation would consume more time than 48 hours, since the relevant embassy's issuance of a temporary travel document requires time.

For expatriates found guilty of serious or severe criminal offenses, or for infringing the rights of a local citizen, they would be detained for trial proceedings.

"Especially in cases of murder or sexual abuse of children, we would be taking stringent action. We will be taking action against them based on Maldivian laws and regulations," the minister said.

Government launched 'Operation Kurangi' the multi-agency operation on Thursday to permanently solve the issue of illegal immigration.