Maldivian Arrested for Fraud Involving Counterfeit Telegraphic Transfers Targeting Foreign Companies

15 Mar 2023

Male, Maldives - On the first week of March 2023, a 37-year-old Maldivian male was arrested by the Maldives Police Service (MPS) in connection to a fraud case involving multiple foreign companies. The individual is suspected to have used counterfeit telegraphic transfers (TT) to acquire goods from international companies.


The Economic Crime Department of MPS 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. It is estimated that the arrested individual was a key figure in the scam, having acquired and imported goods worth more than US $80,000.


The number of companies that may have been affected by this fraudulent trend is expected to increase as the investigation continues. The Maldives Police Service is working closely with INTERPOL and other international counterparts to identify the targeted companies.


Late in 2021, the INTERPOL NCB Male' published a purple notice to alert member countries about this particular modus operandi. As per the INTERPOL Global Crime Trends Report (2022), financial crimes and fraud have been on the rise during and after the Covid-19 waves, as companies shifted their communication to online platforms. It is advised that businesses verify the identity of their counterparts before proceeding with transactions.


The arrest of the Maldivian individual serves as a warning to businesses to remain vigilant and cautious when conducting transactions online. The investigation into this case continues, and further details are expected to be released in due course.