Overview: Maldives is a strategically located series of atolls in the heart of the Indian Ocean. The government believes that hundreds of young Maldivians attended madrassas in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and was concerned that these students were bringing home radical ideology. The Government of Maldives has partnered with the United States to strengthen its law enforcement capacity and to conduct community outreach to counter violent extremism.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Department of Immigration and Emigration signed an agreement with Malaysia's Nexbis Limited in November 2010 to install a new border-control system with an integrated database. However, alleged corruption concerns and subsequent legal proceedings made it unclear when the system would be installed.

There were no successful prosecutions of individuals promoting violent extremism and terrorism in 2011, as existing laws severely limited the ability of law enforcement agencies to prosecute such cases. Two Maldivians, in separate instances in March and October, were arrested in Sri Lanka on charges linked to terrorism. Their cases were pending at year's end.

Maldives became a new partner nation in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program, which focused its initial programs on building capacity in counterterrorism leadership and management, critical target protection, and regional cooperation.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Maldives is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and has submitted annual status reports. Maldives underwent a mutual evaluation conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the final evaluation report was adopted by the members in July 2011. Maldivian law does not criminalize money laundering apart from a small provision in the Drugs Act. The Maldives Financial Intelligence Unit took the lead in drafting an Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism act with assistance from the IMF. The draft bill was sent to the Attorney General's Office in July 2010 and was sent back to the Maldives Police Services and the Prosecutor General for review and comment. In July 2011, Maldives Financial Transactions Reporting came into effect, which aims to safeguard Maldives financial and payment systems from being used to promote acts of terrorism and money laundering, and to protect financial services and products from being used to conceal the proceeds of crime. The UN 1267/1989 and 1988 consolidated lists for individuals and entities associated with the Taliban and al-Qa'ida were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for forwarding to the Maldives Monetary Authority, which then instructed banks and creditors to take action and report back within a specified time period.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Maldives recognized that counter radicalization efforts form a critical component to long-term success against violent extremism, and has pursued initiatives to counter violent extremism. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs implemented a program designed to mobilize religious and social leaders to work against all forms of violence in society, including religious extremism that leads to violence. The Ministry conducted over 15 seminars and workshops for religious leaders, educators, and local government officials. Several of these workshops included participants from across the country.


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