Police reveal Mahibadhoo harbour fire as arson
Maldives Police Service announced on Wednesday night that the harbour fire incident at Mahibadhoo in Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, was a deliberate act of arson.
Speaking at a press conference held by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohamed Hameed stated that the incident which took place at 0522 hrs on Wednesday morning during the early hours was “clearly a deliberate act".
Four speedboats, a sea ambulance, and two dinghy's docked adjacent to each other at the harbour went up in flames in the fire.
Two of the burnt speedboats belonged to a private company, while one was a police launch and the other owned by the Alifu Dhaalu Atoll council.
CP Hameed also said that the police were looking into leads that the arson attack was carried out as an act of retaliation against authorities for recent investigations into drug trafficking and religious extremism.
CP Hameed highlighted an earlier incident where a police launch docked at the harbour of Gan in Laamu Atoll was set ablaze on March 22. He said the attack was retribution for a Police operation on a drug trafficking ring.
The commissioner noted that recent crimes committed against authorities were orchestrated by religious extremists. He further warned that the security forces will not allow such groups to take advantage of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.