Sunday 21st Jul 2024
Dhivehi Edition
News Reports Sports Business
Minister Zaha Waheed

Fisheries Minister Pressured to Allow Indian Vessel Caught Poaching to Leave Freely

Minister of Fisheries Zaha Waheed has been threatened with dismissal if the Ministry were to take legal action against the Indian vessel caught poaching in Maldivian waters on February 24. Minister Zaha was reportedly threatened by both Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Fayyaz Ismail, Minister of Economic Development; and they had reportedly persistently pressured the Fisheries Minister to allow the Indian fishing vessel to leave the country without having any legal action taken against it.
According to a source in the Foreign Ministry, the Indian High Commission in the Maldives had requested the Foreign Ministry to allow the Indian vessel, which is registered in Tamil Nadu, to leave freely. Several fishermen had petitioned the Indian Central Government to let the fishing vessel go free.
The Maldives Police Service had previously said that it was co-operating with the Ministry of Fisheries in investigating the fishing vessel's activities. The Police have the authority to investigate all breaches of the country's borders. The Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture has the power to impose massive fines on foreign vessels caught poaching in Maldivian waters.
However Minister Zaha claimed that she has not been pressured by anyone.
MP Ahmed 'Tom' Thoriq (Mahibadhoo) had filed an emergency motion to the Majlis yesterday regarding reports he had heard about the imminent release of the Indian fishing vessel. The motion had been rejected by a majority vote of MDP parliamentarians.