Three men accused of sexually assaulting and raping a 22-year-old woman in Villingili Island of Gaafu Alifu Atoll have been remanded into custody pending the outcome of their trial. The crime, perpetrated by the men aged 20, 24 and 30, is said to have been committed on 28 July.

While Maldives Police Service (MPS) has yet to provide additional details, local media reports say two of the accused men are from Villingili while the third is said to hail from Laamu Atoll.

According to Section 46 of the Maldives’ Sexual Offences Act, Act Number: 17/2014, “Where an offence stipulate in this Act was perpetrated against a person by more than one perpetrator conspiring with the same intent and purpose, every perpetrator involved shall be deemed to have committed the offence individually. Each perpetrator shall be individually subjected to the punishment stipulated in this Act for such an offence, despite the fact that their roles in commission of the offence may vary.”

If found guilty, the men could face between 15 to 25 years in prison, depending on the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime.