Embassies do not cooperate with deportation of foreigners: Home Minister

Home Minister Imran Abdullah has said foreign embassies in the Maldives do not cooperate with the deportation of foreigners. The minister made the statement in a written reply to inquiries by Maafannu Central MP Ibrahim Rasheed in the Parliament on Wednesday.

In his question, MP Ibrahim Rasheed asked what the Home Ministry had done in the past three years to prevent violations of common social norms by foreigners living in the Maldives illegally without work permits and visas. He asked what the ministry had done to prevent illegal immigrants from carrying out illicit activities that obstruct the Maldivian citizens' social and economic rights.

In his response, the minister said there are space constraints at the detention center for foreigners due to a lack of cooperation from the embassies in deporting those that violate the law.

"We are working with the relevant agencies to find a solution to the space constraints at the detention center. Space will also be increased under the prison complex project," Imran said.

The minister said the involvement of foreigners in serious crimes has increased, especially in activities such as gambling and prostitution. Imran said special operations had been conducted to prevent major crimes involving foreigners, adding that human trafficking and smuggling crimes are detected early and prevented before it is committed.

The minister said the police had not made any special efforts to prevent foreigners from engaging in activities directly related to the locals. However, some measures had been taken to prevent foreigners from engaging in economic activities related to the locals, he said.