Maldives Police Services say the suspect now under its custody for allegedly raping an 11-year old minor in a guesthouse in Male’ had groomed the child before sexually abusing the victim.

Police have now revealed the identity of the suspect and that the suspect held in relation to this case is 38-year old Anees Hilmy of Silsilhaage, HA. Baarah.

Police also said that the criminal court has now remanded the suspect for 7 more days.

It said that the suspect Anees Hilmy was arrested while at his house on Friday night around 10:30 pm. Police said the latest update from the investigation showed that the suspect had been grooming the child before sexually abusing the minor.

Grooming is a tactic used by pedophiles to befriend and form an emotional connection with a child and sometimes family with the objective of sexual abuse.

Earlier, Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed had requested for the suspect to be remanded until the end of their trial. The commissioner sent a letter requesting as such to Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem.

This marks the first such instance in the last five years, where Maldives Police have requested to enact the Special Provisions Act to Deal with Child Sex Abuse Offenders.

Police have said that they would Child sex offenders, child rapists, and blackmailers, individuals who groom children with ill intent, and those who endanger a child’s right to preserve dignity are given the heaviest sentence provisioned in the court of law.

It said that the police were working with relevant authorities to ensure the support and protection of the victim.

This is the second instance where a minor has been sexually abused in a guesthouse in Male’ city amid the lockdown of the city due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier a 16-year-old was lured to Male’ on false pretenses and sexually abused in a guesthouse amid the lockdown of the city and has left authorities scrambling to find those responsible. Police have said that the child was brought to Male’ with valid permits from the Health Protection Agency HPA but this case involves blackmail and coercion.