No arrests yet in attack on Deputy Minister Shimaz

Deputy Transport Minister Shimaz Ali.

Police confirmed Tuesday they have yet to make an arrest in connection to the attack on Deputy Transport Minister Shimaz Ali last weekend.

Shimaz had been physically assaulted by a group of people in a road in Male’ City on Friday night.

A police spokesperson told Sun on Tuesday morning that the police have yet to arrest any suspects in the case.

The spokesperson said the police were investigating the case, but declined to disclose any details.

The attack on him had come after Transport Minister Aishath Nahula sent a letter to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih back in October, asking him to dismiss Shimaz based on a 2021 investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) which found him and five other Transport Ministry officials guilty of corruption in the award of a government contract to Versagio Pvt. Ltd. to manufacture machine-readable license plates back in 2020.

Shimaz had faced threats and had the seat of his motorbike slashed in the wake of the letter, before he was attacked on the street.

Shimaz alleges the physical attack on him was orchestrated by ‘some politicians.’

“The dangerous attack on me on Friday night, November 18, 2022, was a cowardly attack orchestrated by some politicians,” he said.

He called on the police to investigate the attack and bring the people involved to justice as soon as possible.

Shimaz was appointed as Deputy Minister of Transport in February 2019, on a slot granted to the government coalition partner Maldives Reform Movement (MRM).

Both Nahula and her party, another government coalition partner, Jumhoory Party (JP) have denied rumors of her involvement in the attack on Shimaz.

Nahula condemned the attack in a tweet early Saturday.

“The different attempts to influence the case as it is being investigated and the rumors being circulated with reference to me and my family are ugly acts of slander,” she said. “I will not backdown from whatever must be done to stop corruption.”

ACC had sought charges of misuse of official authority to confer an undue advantage against Shimaz and the other Transport Ministry officials in connection to the corruption case.

However, the case was dropped by the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) citing lack of evidence.

The President’s Office has yet to make a decision regarding the request for Shimaz’s dismissal.