The top priority for Maldives Immigration is to curb illegal business activities conducted by migrant workers in the Maldives, Controller of Immigration Mohamed Shamaan Waheed has said. In a post to X, Waheed underscored that the agency’s highest priority is to identify and halt unauthorised enterprises led by migrant workers.

The crackdown follows a series of raids on illegally-operated takeaway coffee shops in Malé, where several migrant workers were apprehended for engaging in business activities. Eight individuals were detained during these operations, according to authorities.

The Economic Ministry has identified 25 sectors where migrant workers are prohibited from participating in trade. These sectors include operating cafés, restaurants, and bakeries.

“Our focus is on identifying businesses operated illegally by migrant workers,” stated Waheed. The immigration service is committed to enforcing the law and taking appropriate action, he warned.

The ongoing operation involves collaboration with relevant government agencies, including the Maldives Police Service (MPS). Recently, police detained two migrant workers allegedly involved in the foreign exchange of US dollars.

In a broader effort to address undocumented migrants, the Homeland Security Ministry spearheads “Operation Kurangi,” a nationwide initiative to collect identification and biometric data from all migrant workers within 12 months.

The Mohamed Muizzu administration is resolute in resolving issues caused by undocumented migrant workers, with a three-year plan to tackle these challenges, according to the Homeland Security Ministry.