Image Source : X Fathimath Shamnaz Ali Saleem, a state minister at Maldives’ Environment Ministry.

Male: In an unusual development, Maldives police have arrested two serving ministers for allegedly performing black magic on President Mohamed Muizzu, according to local media reports. Fathimath Shamnaz Ali Saleem, a state minister at the Environment Ministry and her ex-husband Adam Rameez, were arrested by the police along with two others.

Police declined to share any information about the reasons or the alleged performance of black magic. “Shamnaz, alongside two other individuals, was arrested on Sunday. All three of them have been remanded in custody for seven days. She was suspended from her post on Wednesday as per the Environment Ministry,” read a report by Maldivian news portal sun.mv.

Rameez was also suspended on Thursday. Both of them worked with Muizzu as members of the Male City Council when he was serving as the city’s mayor. After his election as President last year, Shamnaz resigned from the council, and was appointed as a state minister at Muliaage, the official residence of the president. She was later transferred to the Environment Ministry.

Interestingly, Rameez was known as a close aide of Muizzu when he was mayor during his time at Male City Council. However, he has been absent from the public light in the past five months or so. Neither the Maldives government nor the President’s office has made any official comment on the black magic case.

It is important to note that sorcery is not a criminal offence in Maldives, but it can result in a six-month jail sentence under Islamic law. Shamnaz’s position as a state minister is vital as Maldives is facing severe climate change impacts, with experts warning that the archipelago country could become uninhabitable by the end of this century, as per reports.

Black magic usually refers to magic which is associated to evil and malicious purposes intended to destroy someone physically, mentally or financially. Traditional ceremonies, which are believed to bring good fortune or harm to opponents, are common across the island nation. A senior citizen was killed by three neighbours last year after being accused of conducting black magic ceremonies, according to local media reports.

(with inputs from PTI)