Several bandits who reportedly posed as Police Officers executed a brazen robbery on a sand pit operated by Baskaran and Sons at Yarrowkabra, Linden-Soesdyke Highway after they assaulted the security guard on duty in the wee hours of Saturday.Based on reports received, the incident took place between 22:30h and 02:00h during which the bandits held the security guard at gunpoint and dealt him several blows to his body before escaping with over $6.1 million in items.According to reports received, the guard was in his hut when he was awakened by a loud banging on his door. After he enquired, he was told that it was the Police and that they were making routine checks. Thinking something was amiss, the security officer did not open the door, but soon after he heard the sound of an excavator starting up.Within a few minutes, the bucket of the excavator crashed into the hut thus forcing the security guard to try to run to safety. He was, however, captured by the bandits who started to hit him about his body. He reportedly fell to the ground and it was at this time, the men used duct tape to tie his hands and feet, and also gagged him.As he remained on the ground, a car entered the compound and two 12-volt excavator batters and a hydraulic pump were loaded into its trunk. The car then made its way out of the compound along with the armed men.The security guard managed to free himself and contacted his employers, who in turn contacted the Police. Statements were taken from the security guard. An investigation has been launched into the incident. No arrests have been made.
The Maldives opposition expressed confidence of a free and fair poll as voting got underway on Saturday in bi-elections in the politically troubled nation.International affairs spokesman for the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told Xinhua that his party led by former President Mohamed Nasheed hopes the peaceful conditions will pave the way for an early presidential election. The Elections Commission on Friday said it had received 21 complaints in relation to the parliamentary bi-elections for the Kaafu Atoll Kaashidhoo and Thaa Atoll Thimarafushi constituencies and the Kumundhoo council bi-election.The Maldives with nearly 1,200 scattered atolls is undergoing political turmoil since former vice president Mohammed Waheed took over the office as president following a controversial power transfer. “Polling is going peacefully and we have confidence with the elections commission that the elections will be free and fair. We are thankful to everyone to help make this peaceful. This shows the conditions to hold peaceful elections exist and thus there is no reason hold back on an early presidential election,”said Ghafoor. Voting in the bi-elections for the Kaashidhoo and Thimarafushi constituencies and the Thaa Atoll Gaadhiffushi and Haa dhaal Atoll Kumundhoo island councils began early Saturday and will continue till evening. Former President Nasheed claimed he was ousted by a military- backed coup and is demanding an early presidential election.In a statement last month the European Union noted that agreement on the holding of early elections, on the independent investigation of the transfer of power in February and the reestablishment of the correction functioning of government and parliament is now more important than ever.The United States has also supported an early presidential election and has come forward to assist the holding of a free and fair poll. (Xinhua)