Thursday 20th Jun 2024
Dhivehi Edition
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Prostitution

Telegram Prostitution Group Had More Than 7,000 People & Used Special Taxi for Transportation

A Telegram group titled, “Jazeera,” which had 7,000 members, was promoting prostitution through a group chat using a special taxi, the Maldives Police Service said.
Police, on June 6th, arrested two persons for allegedly operating Telegram channels called Jazeera Admin, Jazeera Girls, Jazeera Escort Gallery, Jazeera Scam Alert and Jazeera Link News since April last year.
A 28-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman were arrested on charges of running the groups as a result of four raids by police. One of them has a number of previous criminal records, police said.
Giving details of the groups at a press conference held by the police today, Cyber Police Investigation Officer Aminath Mohamed said that posts and advertisements were made in the groups to facilitate prostitution.
"The channel has been noticed running posts during the day to facilitate prostitution and such things. Posts are made and advertised in the afternoon. Drugs, prostitution, sex toys, false documents, and all offenses of this type are included," she said.

"The Telegram channels, which were launched in 2023, are receiving messages from many people. From April 2023 to March 6th, 2024, the number of channels and members has increased significantly.”

"The investigation has so far revealed that women have been brought in from various countries abroad to provide this service. And locals are also involved," she said, noting that the total number of women brought in from abroad was still being worked out.

"These are the most widespread channels promoting these activities in Maldives. There are more than 7,000 people on the channel. They include locals and foreigners.”

Police said the prostitution was carried out in collaboration with a taxi driver.

She elaborated that the taxi was a standard, public taxi, however the vehicle was being used to transport prostitutes and clients that were connected via the telegram group. All of this activity was carried out in collaboration with the taxi driver.
The two arrested supposedly did not earn any income, but conducted a large amount of money transactions from their accounts, police said. A large amount of money was transferred from one account to another from the accounts of the accused.

They are accused, police said, of money laundering, drug trafficking, prostitution, encouraging prostitution, manufacturing and distributing fake documents, and also making medical slips in the name of hospitals.