Maafushi Council responds to crime rate report

The Maafushi Council has fired back at allegations that the popular guest house island was a prostitution hub.

A local online media recently reported that crime and social issues had increased exponentially in Maafushi island since the introduction of local tourism on the island. The reports said that drug trafficking was widespread on the island, and the main reason for the increase in such cases was the development of local tourism on the island.

The Maafushi Council released a statement in response to the report and said it was irresponsible to describe Maafushi as a center of prostitution. The press release signed by five members of the island council said no cases of prostitution have been reported in Maafushi so far.

"If one thinks those that reside in Maafushi, and people of both sexes who come and go from Maafushi are involved in prostitution, it is a shortcoming on their part," the council said.

The council also said the increase in drug cases on the island had nothing to do with local tourism.

"We believe that all relevant agencies should work in response to social problems that may arise in an island with an extremely high number of visitors, with the capacity required to respond to such issues in that particular environment," the council further said.

While the Maldives prohibits the sale of alcohol and pork in inhabited islands, Maafushi Council's statement added that tourism can be carried out successfully without the sale of alcohol and pork. The people of Maafushi have proved that to the whole world today, the statement further read.

"Therefore, this council welcomes positive proposals, instead of politically-motivated criticism geared towards the government as opposed to constructive criticism," it said.