The former Maldives vice-president, Ahmed Adeeb, has been deported by the Indian Coast Guard on August 3. The Maldivian politician sought political asylum from India that was rejected by the Indian officials.
Indian Coast Guard intercepted a tugboat 'Virgo 9' carrying Adeeb along with nine crew members in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi district and was subsequently arrested on Thursday for not carrying valid documents.
The maritime officials took Adeeb, the tugboat and his crew to the International Maritime Boundary Line and handed them over to Maldivian authorities. The crew members include an Indian and eight Indonesians, reported The Times of India.
The Hindu reported they were deported to the Maldives on Friday.
Adeeb, 37, had sought political asylum in India due to alleged "serious risk" to his life in the Maldives, as per his lawyer representing him from the UK.
His lawyer, Toby Cadman from London-based legal group Guernica 37, had asked the Indian government to uphold the Maldivian leader's asylum plea in accordance with international law. "We remain deeply concerned that he could be returned to the Maldives where his life is at risk," PTI cited him saying.
"I would remind the Maldives authorities that he has claimed asylum and if they want to return him to the Maldives, the proper course of action is through a request for extradition, not through any other means," he added.
In his home country, Adeeb is currently facing trial in several cases including a sentence of 15 years in jail in 2016 for alleged plot to assassinate the then Maldives President Abdulla Yameen and for possessing firearms.
The Maldives Police Service said that Adeeb was "interdicted during his attempt to flee the country via sea," a press statement released on Friday read. It also claimed that Adeeb was facing an active travel ban by the Supreme Court of Maldives and was facing investigation for "alleged misappropriation of state funds, corruption and money laundering".
Adeeb is a key witness in a money laundering case against Yameen.
He also failed to appear for an investigative interview session scheduled by the Maldives police on July 2019.