Former Maldivian Minister of State for Finance Mohamed Ashmalee has been arrested and remanded in custody today in connection with an incident of selling and abusing a 15 – year – old girl online. He had been in Sri Lanka for some time and was arrested and produced before court today (05). Ashmalee is a former Minister of State for Finance and Treasury and the Chairman of Dhiraagu, a leading telecommunications company in the Maldives. Thirty-two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident, including a monk and the Deputy Chairman of the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha, a well-known gem merchant and a ship captain, police said.
The suspects were produced before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court today and remanded till July 16.
Police say they used two websites to sell these underage girls for sex, and the owners of the site have not yet been arrested.
Former Maldivian minister Ashmalee appeared in a Colombo court on Monday and his lawyer told the court that Ashmali meant only booking for an oil massage after seeing an online advertisement and was not aware of any juvenile association.