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Maldives: 2 Ministers Arrested Over Alleged Black Magic on President

The Maldives police have arrested two serving ministers and two other individuals for allegedly engaging in black magic rituals aimed at President Mohamed Muizzu.

Maldives: 2 Ministers Arrested Over Alleged Black Magic on President

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Fathimath Shamnaz Ali Saleem, State Minister at the Environment Ministry. Adam Rameez, Minister at the President’s Office and Shamnaz’s ex-husband. Two additional individuals whose identities have not been disclosed.

Shamnaz and two others were apprehended on Sunday. Rameez was taken into custody on Thursday. All four have been remanded for seven days as investigations continue.

Shamnaz was suspended from her role at the Environment Ministry on Wednesday. Rameez faced suspension on Thursday following his arrest.

Shamnaz and Rameez were previously members of the Male City Council alongside President Muizzu, who served as the city’s mayor.

After Muizzu’s election as president in November last year, Shamnaz was appointed as a state minister at the president’s official residence, Muliaage, before transferring to the Environment Ministry.

Rameez had been a close aide to Muizzu during his tenure as mayor but had not been in the public eye for the past five months.

Local media including reported that the arrests were related to accusations of black magic performed on President Muizzu.

The police have neither confirmed nor denied these reports maintaining silence on the specifics of the case.

Black magic, while not a criminal offence under the Maldivian penal code can result in a six-month jail sentence under Islamic law in the Maldives.

Black magic and traditional ceremonies are commonly practiced in the Maldives with many locals believing in their power to influence events and outcomes.

There have been past incidents involving accusations of sorcery including a 62-year-old woman who was murdered last year following allegations of black magic.

Shamnaz was arrested on June 23, 2024 along with her ex-husband Adam Rameez and two other unidentified individuals.

They were allegedly involved in performing black magic rituals targeting President Muizzu. This follows a pattern of similar accusations in the Maldives where black magic is sometimes cited in political and personal disputes.

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Following her arrest Shamnaz was suspended from her position on June 27, 2024. Adam Rameez, who also held a ministerial position at the President’s Office was similarly suspended.

The Maldives police have confirmed an investigation involving Shamnaz and the other individuals. Details regarding the specific nature of the allegations or the evidence against them have not been disclosed publicly.

Neither the Maldives government nor the President’s Office has issued an official statement regarding the allegations.

Shamnaz has a strong political background having served on the Male City Council with President Muizzu when he was the mayor.

Her transition to a state minister role occurred following Muizzu’s election as president in November 2023.

As the State Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Energy, Shamnaz played a crucial role in addressing environmental challenges in the Maldives.

Rameez, also a former member of the Male City Council was known to be a close aide of Muizzu. His recent absence from public duties raised suspicions which have now culminated in his arrest.

Black magic is intertwined with cultural and religious practices in the Maldives. Traditional ceremonies aimed at invoking supernatural favor or harm are not uncommon.

Historical events include the fatal stabbing of a woman accused of black magic in April 2023 and a bizarre incident in 2012 where police claimed a “cursed rooster” was used against them during a political rally crackdown.

Under Islamic law in the Maldives, black magic can lead to a six-month prison sentence although it is not explicitly listed as a criminal offense in the penal code.

In 2012, a political rally organized by the opposition was disrupted by police following accusations of throwing a “cursed rooster” at officers.

The murder of a 62-year-old woman last year accused of black magic, underlining the deadly consequences that such allegations can have in the Maldives.

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