Former state minister arrested in Sri Lanka in connection to child sexual exploitation case

Former State Minister of Finance Mohamed Ashmalee has been arrested in Sri Lanka in connection to a child sex trafficking incident in Mount Lavinia.

According to the Sri Lankan press, four suspects were arrested in connection to a case of a 15-year-old being sexually exploited. An official from the Maldives Embassy in Sri Lanka has confirmed to AVAS that Ashmalee was among the four suspects. The three other suspects are Sri Lankan nationals and are the owners of the hotel used for sexual exploitation. According to the embassy official, Ashmalee is currently in police custody.

Two other suspects who are said to have worked on a website used to publish advertisements regarding the girl were arrested earlier on Saturday. 32 other people suspected of rape were also arrested. 12 other persons of interest have also been identified, the Sri Lankan press reports.

According to media reports, the girl has been exploited for over three months. She has suffered a lot of sexual abuse and is currently in treatment. It is not clear whether the victim is a Maldivian or Sri Lankan national.

Around 16,000 Maldivians reside in Sri Lanka.