Regulation gazetted on denying entry to Maldives for foreigners carrying drugs

An immigration counter at Velana International Airport. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

A regulation has been gazetted which provides Maldives Immigration with the discretion to deny entry for foreigners arriving in the Maldives via air who are discovered with drugs.

As per the regulation, Controller of Immigration will have the authority to deny entry to the Maldives for foreigners arriving via air that are suspected of drug trafficking.

The regulation specifies circumstances under this can be done. They include circumstances where it is suspected that drugs are stored in the passenger’s luggage or where intelligence has been received that the passenger is using Maldives as a transit point to transport drugs or the passenger is going to traffic drugs into the Maldives.

However, the regulation also specified circumstances under which the passenger can be permitted entry to the Maldives.

This includes agreement to cooperate in the investigation, however, is subject to making arrangements for the passenger’s return from the airline he or she traveled to the Maldives.

The regulation will be applicable to persons entering the Maldives with drugs as part of a police operation.

The regulation comes at a time a large number of drugs seized from a foreigner at the airport has gone missing; a case under investigation by the police.