Bodufinolhu expats' case: MP Ali Riza summoned to police for questioning

MP Ali Riza – the owner of RIX Company who made expatriates work in B. Bodufinolhu without paying their salaries, has been summoned to the police and questioned.

It has been seven months since the employees have not been paid. MP Ali RIza agrees that he had not paid their salaries. In a fit of anger, the expatriates had held hostage the locals working in the island and vandalised the properties.

Over the issue, 19 expatriates have been arrested, and a case has been filed against them over theft and terrorism. The expatriates had said that when they complained about not being paid, they were threatened by RIX Company. They further said the company had been making labourers work and without paying them, abandon them in Male' to be on their own.

Bodufinolhu is been developed as a resort by Seal Maldives, and the contractor of the resort development is RIX Company. RIX Company is owned by MP Ali Riza, representing Milandhoo constituency. On Thursday, police arrested 19 individuals after expatriates working in Bodufinolhu held locals working on the property hostage, and vandalized the properties, and confronted the police. The magistrate of B. Thulhaadhoo has issued a 15-day remand for their arrest. During the hearing held to issue remand, one of the expatriates said he has not received salaries for the past seven months, and that there is no way for him to send money to his family. As a result, he has become mentally affected and depressed, said the man.

RIX Company issued a statement regarding the issue. As per the statement, paying salary for the employees is the responsibility of Seal Company. A monthly salary of MVR 7000 and a food allowance is to be paid per employee. However, Seal has not been paying the salaries.
In response to the statement, Seal Company’s legal team issued a counter statement. As per the statement Seal Company has paid more than what is legally obliged to pay. The company had paid MVR 21 million to RIX Company even though the due payment amount is MVR 12 million, said Seal Company.

Seal added that it is the responsibility of RIX Company to pay the salaries, arranging medical insurance, and visa for the employees.