19 expats arrested after hostage situation in Bodufinolhu

19 expatriates have been arrested after a group of expatriates held 12 locals hostage at B. Bodufinolhu on Thursday.

Bodufinolhu is being developed as a resort by Seal Maldives. The labourers working on the island were contracted to Seal Maldives by Riz Company Pvt Ltd, owned by Milandhoo MP Ahmed Riza. The workers had not been paid their wages for the last seven months, the cause of distress that led to the hostage situation. A large number of expatriate workers had prevented the police from getting on the island by throwing stones and sharpened metal rods. However, they later allowed the police and MNDF to peacefully access the island early Friday morning, and quell the situation. The hostages were eventually rescued.

Seal Maldives said the amount equivalent to the workers' wages had been paid to Riz. Paying the wages to the workers was the responsibility of Riz, said Seal, a claim that Riz denies.