Maldivian arrested in Lanka child sex trafficking case identified as former State Minister Ashmalee

Former State Minister for Finance, Mohamed Ashmalee. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Afrah)

The Maldivian man arrested by Sri Lankan authorities in connection to a child sex trafficking case in Mount Lavinia has been identified by credible sources as former State Minister for Finance, Mohamed Ashmalee.

Ashmalee, 45, served as State Minister for Finance and chairman of telecom company Dhiraagu during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration.

The case in Mount Lavinia involves a 15-year-old girl who was sexually exploited via websites and social media outlets. She was exploited for three months, and had been handed over to multiple people.

According to Sri Lankan news outlet The Morning, the Maldivian national arrested in the case was someone “who had taken the girl for money”.

Credible sources confirm the identity of the Maldivian national arrested in the case as Ashmalee.

He was arrested along with three other suspects last Sunday.

The first arrest in the case was made on June 7. Sri Lankan police have arrested 32 suspects in connection to the child sex trafficking ring, and 12 more suspects have been identified for committing statutory rape.

Sri Lankan police confirm those arrested include the victim’s mother.