Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed had earlier criticized the incumbent head of state over a recent development of Maldivian registered tanker vessels engaged in illegal high-seas ship-to-ship transfer with North Korea, reported by the Japanese Government.
In a statement the Maldives Government rejected in no uncertain terms the assumption that a vessel named Xin Yuan 18 is of Maldivian origin – no such vessel is registered in the country.
The Maldives condemned, in the strongest possible terms, the use of the Maldives National Flag in a manner so as to tarnish the good standing and reputation of our nation and that of our people.
The Government of Maldives says it gives high priority to the implementation of all resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, including the Resolutions on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
The Administration is currently investigating the matter and wishes to make clear that the Maldives will pursue aggressive action against any such acts which affects the National Identity in such a detrimental manner.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earlier released a statement confirming that the vessel ‘Xin Yuan 18’ is not registered in the Maldives, as has the Transport Authority.
“Maldivian authorities do not allow flag of convenience to foreign owned vessels to operate outside Maldivian waters,” the Maldives Government said. (Colombo Gazette)