Suspects involved in abduction of minor remanded

The three men who were arrested on the accusation of abducting a 16 year old girl has been remanded in custody for 15 days.

The police confirmed that three men aged 22, 24 and 26 who were seen leaving Maamendhoo island in a dinghy with a young girl on Sunday evening were arrested after catching up with the vessel near Six Senses resort.

It has been reported that the girl aboard the vessel was the 16-year old younger sibling of the 19-year Aminath Shima who recently disappeared at sea under suspicious circumstances.

Eyewitnesses who saw the three men leaving Maamendhoo island with Shima's sister said the men had their faces covered when they departed from the island.

Among the arrested men includes the prime suspect in Shima's disappearance, Ibrahim Fazeel.

According to news reports following Shima's disappearance, Ibrahim Fazeel was driving the boat carrying both himself and Shima to Maamendhoo island after she arrived at Kadhdhoo Domestic Airport from capital Male'. It was reported that Fazeel traveled to Kadhdhoo to receive Shima on her arrival to transport her to her island, Maamendhoo. It was also reported that after the boat capsized, Fazeel handed Shima a mobile phone and an empty petrol tank to hold on to, before swimming off to Six Senses Laamu to seek help and alert the Coast Guard. While the search for the missing girl continues, the police have launched a special investigation into the happenings around the incident.

It is believed that the two remaining masked men involved in Sunday's incident are friends of Fazeel, although the police did not reveal the identities of the men.

The intent behind the masked men's actions is unknown, although Shima's family claims the men were going into hiding, taking Shima's sister hostage.