Maldives Police Services say it is working with INTERPOL and other international counterparts to identify the targeted companies in a fraud case involving multiple foreign companies.
Police said today that earlier this month they had arrested a 37-year-old local man in connection with the case.
They said that the individual is suspected to have used counterfeit telegraphic transfers (TT) to acquire goods from international companies.
Police said that its Economic Crime Department is currently investigating the case, which saw complaints from several foreign companies lodged between 2019 and 2022 regarding the use of fake TTs in exchange for their goods.
Police estimated that the arrested individual was a key figure in the scam, having acquired and imported goods worth more than USD 80,000.
They said that the number of companies that may have been affected by this fraudulent trend is expected to increase as the investigation continues.
It added that the Maldivian police is working closely with INTERPOL and other international counterparts to identify the targeted companies.
Police highlighted that in late 2021, the INTERPOL NCB Male' published a purple notice to alert member countries about this particular modus operandi.
It said that this notice highlighted the rise of financial crimes and fraud during and after the Covid-19 waves, as companies shifted their communication to online platforms. Police advised that businesses verify the identity of their counterparts before proceeding with transactions.
Police said that the arrest of the Maldivian individual serves as a warning to businesses to remain vigilant and cautious when conducting transactions online. They added that the investigation into this case continues, and further details are expected to be released in due course.