Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam expressed his lack of information regarding the unexpected boarding of Maldivian fishing vessels by of armed Indian coastguard personnel within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives. 

North Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahumy (Inthi) sought clarification on the matter, questioning the government’s understanding of the reasons behind the armed boarding of Maldivian fishing boats by Indian coastguard officers. In response, Minister Shiyam acknowledged the gravity of the situation but admitted to being uninformed about the specifics, promising to provide a detailed account upon receiving further information.

The incident occurred on January 31st, when three Maldivian fishing boats, operating 72 miles off Thuraakanu Island, Haa Alifu Atoll, were unexpectedly boarded by Indian coastguard personnel. One of these boats experienced a second boarding by a different Indian naval crew a few days later. This series of unauthorised boardings by the Indian coastguard has prompted serious concerns regarding the safety and sovereignty of Maldivian fishermen, leading to a formal request for an explanation from the Indian government, which remains pending.

In the wake of these events, the opposition has called for Defence Minister Ghassan Maumoon appear before the parliament. A motion, submitted to Parliament by The Democrats’ President and Henveiru West Constituency MP Hassan Latheef, underscores the urgency and fear among the Maldivian public regarding these incidents. Latheef has outlined three critical questions for Minister Maumoon, focusing on the location of the incidents, the details of the occurrences, and potential policy changes to prevent future infringements.

Earlier, a statement released by the Defence Ministry highlighted that the boardings were conducted without governmental consent and constituted a breach of international maritime law.