The Criminal Court has extended the custody of twelve individuals arrested in connection with a recent prostitution sting in Male’ as their previous remand of 15 days expired on June 1. The remand of nine of the suspects was extended for an additional 30 days, while a 15-day extension was given for two of them and 10 days were added to the remand of one suspect. The court did not grant a further extension of remand for one of the suspects and he was released.

The arrests were made as part of a targeted crackdown on a suspected human trafficking network, with authorities apprehending a total of 13 individuals. According to police, the operation was carried out simultaneously at four locations within the city, resulting in the arrest of eight Bangladeshi men, one Bangladeshi woman, and four Thai women. The detained individuals were taken into custody as part of an ongoing efforts to combat the increase in prevalence of prostitution in Male’.

Law enforcement authorities have faced mounting criticism for the perceived lack of action in curbing the rise of prostitution in the city. However, periodic police operations have resulted in arrests, indicating efforts to address the issue. To tackle the urgency of the situation, a new regulation has been implemented to strengthen the monitoring of massage establishments, which have been identified as hubs for the illicit activities associated with the sex trade.