The leader of the Maldives Development Alliance, MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed (MDA - Meedhoo) has described the withholding of his passport as a crime.
Siyam and his ex-wife Aishath Faiz's passports were withheld by a Civil Court order issued on 9 February. The Civil Court issued the order by the request of Hilton International to execute an arbitration ruling that the company be paid USD 28 million in damages following the cancellation of the management contract for Irusfushi Resort.
Sun Travel had contracted Hilton International with the management of Irufushi Beach Resort and Spa, being operated on Medhufushi (Noonu Atoll), on 29 February 2009.
However, Sun had cancelled the contract on 30 April 2013 claiming that Hilton had violated the terms of the agreement. Hilton submitted the case to international arbitration.
The 2015 arbitration procedure was decided against Sun Travel, and the company was ordered to pay Hilton International USD 24 million in damages. Hilton had requested the Civil Court in 2020 to enforce the arbitration's ruling; the Court ruled in Hilton's favour.
At a press conference held today, Siyam said that his passport had been withheld illegally. He claimed that the withholding of his passport was "clearly motivated by politics". He claimed that the court order had been dictated by the Judicial Service Commission.