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Political asylum or transit point: Why did former Maldives VP enter India illegally


Chennai, Aug 02: On Thursday, the former Maldivian vice president, Ahmed Adeeb was detained when he illegally tried to enter India. He is facing charges of attempting to assassinate the then president, Abdulla Yameen.

Also facing corruption charges, he was detained in the southern port city of Thootukudi. He had failed to show valid documents and he was found onboard Virgo9, the Singaporean registered tugboat, which had been illegally intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard.

Political asylum or transit point: Why did former Maldives VP enter India illegally

On July 27 the boat set out to Thoothukudi from the Male Port. One of the crew members had seen Adeeb board the boat without valid documents. As the boat set out, one of the crew members alerted the vessel agent at Thoothukudi. An officer who is part of the investigations told OneIndia that the agent alert them, following which Adeeb was apprehended.

Ex-Maldivian vice president Ahmed Adeeb arrested in India

He was evading investigation and was supposed to appear before the Anti Corruption Commission in Male, scheduled for Wednesday. Upon being intimated, officials swung into action and intercepted the board 15 nautical miles from Thoothukudi. They found Adeeb in the boat and when asked for valid documents, he did not have any. He was then questioned by officials of the Intelligence Bureau as well as the Immigration Department.

IB officials say that he is a frequent visitor to India. He was in fact in Pune last month for an eye ailment treatment. It is not clear whether he is trying to seek political asylum or attempting to use India as a transit point to fly to another country, the IB official said.

Adeeb was arrested in Maldives for plotting to assassinate Yameen. He is also facing corruption charges for having embezzled 90 million US dollars. He was placed under house arrest, but was released in July 2016. While the jail sentence against him was quashed citing undue political influence, a fresh trial has been ordered against him.

An official statement read that there are designated entry points through which foreigners are allowed to enter India. The entry point is facilitated on the basis of appropriate valid documents. However in this case, since he was not entering India through a designated entry point and did not possess valid documents, he has not been permitted entry into India.

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