The chief of police in the Maldives has apologised after a bikini-clad British tourist screamed ‘you’re sexually assaulting me’ as she was manhandled and arrested.
Footage of the arrest shows three men grappling with the woman and trying to put her in handcuffs as she attempted to fight them off yesterday evening.
Another man covered part of her body with a towel as she was led away in front of a crowd of people on the island of Maafushi, in the Kaafu atoll.
Police commissioner Mohamed Hameed said an ‘incident in which our officers restrained a female tourist seems to be badly handled’.
‘I apologise to the tourist and the public for this. The challenge I have taken up is to professionalise the police service and we are working on that,’ he said.
The woman was arrested for ‘indecent exposure’ but the incident is now under investigation.
Wearing bikinis is permitted in holiday resorts in the popular tourist location, although it is ‘strictly prohibited’ away from the resorts. It is not clear exactly where this video was filmed.
The woman, who speaks with a British accent, repeatedly shouts ‘you’re sexually assaulting me’ as she struggles to break free of the men.
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’.
The UK government’s travel advice for the Maldives states that visitors should be ‘sensitive to local dress standards’ in the country.
It states that the popular tourist destination is an Islamic country and that tourists should ‘respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times’.
The country is made up of about 1,200 small islands and is located about 400 miles south-west of Sri Lanka.
The Foreign Office issued a separate warning to be ‘vigilant’ in the Maldives yesterday after a knife attack on foreign residents in Hulhumale.
Three suspected Islamic extremists were arrested over the stabbings.