Police request an appeal after 16 arrested in hijacking of fishing boat released

Faskuri: The fishing boat was hijacked by a group of armed men on October 25, 2020.

All 16 suspects arrested in connection to the hijacking of the fishing boat Faskuri have been released by the court.

The incident had taken place at approximately 11:55 pm on Sunday, and involves a group of men armed with sharp-edged weapons who forced their way on board the fishing boat as lay anchored in the Vadinolhu Sea of L. Atoll to catch bait.

A police spokesperson said on Saturday that all 16 suspects were released when presented before the court for their remand hearings.

“We have therefore requested the PG’s Office to appeal their release,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the case is an ongoing investigation, and that the police will look into all the circumstances surrounding the case during the course of the investigation.

 The boat, after it was hijacked, was taken to L. Gan.

The police were at the scene when the boat docked at Gan. According to an earlier statement by the police, officers who attended the scene found both the men involved in the hijacking and the weapons they used from the boat.

The police said that though the group forced their way on board the boat armed with weapons, no violence took place.

Initial investigative findings indicate the incident had been motivated by a business dispute.

Based on the information so far, they boarded the boat claiming failure to honor the agreement made for the sale of the boat, said the police.

The 22 crew members of the fishing boat have released a statement regarding the hijacking, stating that they made a secret phone call to the police asking for assistance during the hijacking, but received no assistance from the police or the military.

They said that the hijackers had continued to threaten the crew in front of the police when at the Gan harbor, and that they were denied assistance from the police to safely leave Gan, and instead had to rely on the goodwill of a civilian.

The police spokesperson said on Saturday that it will be the best for any possible illegal action or misconduct from the police in connection to the case to be reported to the Police Professional Standard Command or National Integrity Commission.