Maldives: 12 expat cashiers arrested

Published:  14 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Immigration, Jobs
Twelve expats have been arrested in the Maldives as the island nation’s government continues its crackdown of foreigners working as cashiers.

In a four-hour operation in which authorities sought to find foreigners in violation of a newly-imposed ban on them working as cashiers, 46 undocumented expats were arrested. Hassan Khaleel, spokesman for the archipelago’s Immigration Department, said that 36 of the cashiers remained in custody.

In April, the government imposed a ban on expatriates being employed as cashiers. Authorities had previously said that the cashiers’ visas would be seen as void if they were found working in the role, and that they would be deported. Employers would also face penalties if found to be breaking the rules – MVR10,000 for first-time offenders and MVR for repeat offenders.

The government introduced the ban in an effort to create greater employment opportunities for Maldivians as it aims to achieve its goal of creating 94,000 jobs in its term. The ministry of economy has also launched a scheme to train local cashiers.

However, the ban was not popular with everyone, with many small businesses complaining of the high salaries needed to employ locals.
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