The ongoing investigation into the alleged rape of a 26-year-old Chinese tourist at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Island Resort took a significant step forward as authorities seized the passport of the accused. On Thursday, the Criminal Court granted the Police request to withhold his passport.

The 30-year-old suspect, whose identity and further details have not been disclosed by the police, is at the centre of the ongoing investigation and the decision to seize his passport indicates a crucial development in the case.

The incident came to light when the Chinese woman, who arrived in the Maldives on 6 June as part of a diving group, shared her traumatic experience on a Chinese social media platform and Twitter. According to her account, she was subjected to the assault by a butler assigned to her room at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Island Resort.

The victim posted various documents on social media, including evidence of the case filed at the local police station and records of a medical examination conducted at the Kaafu Atoll Health Centre. Disturbing photographs depicting severe bruising on her body circulated on social media, intensifying the gravity of the allegations.

While the Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Island Resort refrained from commenting on the incident, the local authorities have officially confirmed the ongoing investigation and reassured the public that necessary steps are being taken to appropriately handle the matter.

On Wednesday, the Maldives Police Service said in a press statement that it was conducting “a thorough investigation into the alleged sexual assault case.” The statement follows allegations made by the victim that the authorities are trying to cover up the incident.

The statement further said: “At this stage, no arrests have been made in connection with incident. However, the Maldives Police Service wants to assure that all necessary investigative actions are being taken to ensure a comprehensive examination of the case.”

“The Maldives Police Service remains committed to upholding the law, safeguarding the well-being of all individuals within our jurisdiction, and ensuring justice is served. We will continue to work diligently to bring this investigation into a just resolution,” it added.