Maldives ex-vice president Ahmed Adeeb, detained for entering India ‘illegally’, sent back

NEW DELHI (The Statesman/ANN) - According to reports, the former vice-president of Maldives was planning to seek ‘the protection of India and had initiated the process of claiming asylum’.

Former vice-president of Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, who was detained by Tuticorin Port Authority in Tamil Nadu on August 1, was sent back to the archipelago in the Indian Ocean by the Coast Guard on Saturday.

According to reports, Ahmed Adeeb was detained by the Indian authorities for illegally entering India. He had arrived in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin on a cargo vessel without any valid documents.

The Maldives Independent had reported that Adeeb was arrested while trying to enter the country illegally as a crew member of a tug boat.

According to reports, the former vice-president was planning to seek “the protection of India and had initiated the process of claiming asylum, having been subjected to a series of politically-motivated prosecutions, and attempts to coerce him into making false statements in his country”.

However, his plea for political asylum was rejected by the Indian government.

External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that he was denied entry to India “since he was not entering through a designated entry point and did not possess valid travel documents”.

Earlier in May, a court in the Maldives had quashed a controversial conviction of Ahmed Adeeb and ordered a fresh trial on allegations that he attempted to assassinate his boss.

The High Court set aside the 15-year sentence handed to Adeeb in 2016 after he was found guilty of trying to blow up then-president Abdulla Yameen’s speed boat in September 2015.

However, the three-judge bench in a majority decision ordered that Adeeb be held in custody for 15 days pending a fresh trial.

He was freed from house arrest just two weeks ago after serving the 15-day contempt of court sentence.

Adeeb was considered a close confidant of Yameen until he was dramatically impeached in November 2015 following allegations he was trying to topple the president.

Yameen escaped unhurt when an explosion ripped through his speed boat, but his wife and two others were slightly injured.

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