Female tourist is arrested and dragged away by police for wearing a bikini on Maldives beach – The Sun

A FEMALE tourist in the Maldives was arrested and dragged away by three police officers for wearing a bikini on a beach.

The woman, who spoke with a British accent, was reported to be "under the influence of alcohol".

A video circulating on social media shows the woman being detained by officers on the island of Maafushi, in the Kaafu atoll.

She can be heard repeatedly shouting "You are sexually assaulting me" as police struggle to put her in handcuffs.

Another man can be seen covering part of her body with a towel as she is led away from the area.

Following her arrest, Maldives Police Service Commissioner Mohamed Hameed issued a public apology to the woman, saying the incident appeared to have been "badly handled" by officers.

According to the country's local news service, Raajje.mv, the woman was arrested shortly after 5pm local time on Thursday for "indecent exposure".

It reported that police suspected the woman to be "under the influence of alcohol".

Mr Hameed said in a Twitter post: "Incident in Maafushi in which our officers restrained a female tourist seems to be badly handled.

"I apologise to the tourist & the public for this. The challenge I have taken up is to professionalise the police service & we are working on that.

"This matter is being investigated."

Raajje.mv reported that, while Maafushi is a popular tourist location, wearing bikinis is "strictly prohibited" on local islands. It is, however, permitted in holiday resorts which are much more lenient due to predominantly Western guests.

The country is made up of 1,200 small islands of which more than 100 are home to holiday resorts.

Earlier this week, three tourists were stabbed in what was believed to be a terrorist attack, after ISIS claimed responsibility.

The tourists, from China and Australia, are in stable condition following the attack.

Are you allowed to wear bikinis in the Maldives?

Tourists visiting holiday resorts in the Maldives are allowed to wear swimwear on the islands.

However, local islands ban bikinis and skimpy clothing, being an Islamic country.

The official advice from the UK government states: "Dress is generally informal but you should be sensitive to local dress standards when visiting non-resort islands.

"Nudism and topless sunbathing are not allowed anywhere, including on resort islands."

They add: "Local laws reflect the fact that Maldives is an Islamic country.

"Violations of local laws may lead to a prison sentence.

"You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend."

The Maldives is popular with honeymooners and celebrities, including Rita Ora and Jamie Vardy.

Last year, a fire ripped through a luxury resort in the Maldives which was voted the best in the country.

Five tourists drowned last year due to strong currents, leading to warnings from officials.

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