All-women team conducts Immigration raids, in a historic first

Officers attend to customers at Maldives Immigration headquarters in Male' City. (Photo/Maldives Immigration)

An all-women team of officers from the Maldives Immigration conducted raids in the Maldivian capital last weekend, in the first-ever raid operations led by its female officers in the agency’s 74-year history.

Immigration announced the feat in a statement on Thursday.

According to the agency, the all-women team conducted the raids on Saturday, as part of a crackdown on illegal migration.

The agency described it as “a significant stride towards addressing illegal expatriates and empowering women.”

Immigration said the historic initiative also aligns with the vision of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, underscoring his commitment to tackling illegal immigration and promoting gender equality within law enforcement.

The operations, led by female officers under the directive of Controller General of Immigration Mohamed Shamaan Waheed, took place in multiple locations across Male’ and Hulhumale’.

“This marks a pivotal moment in the history of Maldives Immigration, reflecting a progressive shift in operational dynamics,” said the agency.

A total of 14 locations were inspected, with eight sites in Male’ and six in Hulhumale’.

According to Immigration, 15 female expatriates who did not meet immigration regulations were detained for further interrogation.

The Homeland Security Ministry has established a national taskforce to address the issue of illegal migration.

Known as the ‘National Task Force on Combating Illegal Expatriate Operations,’ it has conducted 33 operations, identifying, and repatriating more than 1,700 undocumented expatriates.

Immigration said the initiative represents the agency’s ongoing efforts to address the issue of undocumented expatriates promptly and effectively.

“By empowering female officers to take on leadership roles in these operations, the department not only enhances its operational capabilities, but also sets a powerful example of gender inclusivity and equality in the workplace,” said the agency.