The Maldives government terminated its agreement with the Malaysian security firm Nexbis to install and operate a border control system. Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim told local media that the disputed contract – signed under the previous government of President Mohamed Nasheed in 2010 – was terminated by the cabinet over fears it was causing unspecified “major losses” to the state.
The termination was announced as immigration officials said replacement technology being provided by the US government was not functional, with implementation “on hold” pending a legal hearing into the matter.
Department of Immigration spokesperson Ibrahim Ashraf told Minivan News that he had not personally been made aware of any decision by the government to terminate the agreement.
However, Ashraf confirmed that replacement technology being provided free of charge by the US government was “not 100 percent functional” at present.
“Because of legal issues, the project has been on hold,” he explained.
Immigration officials confirmed that “testing” had been underway on the new US-donated system, while Nexbis’ border control technology remained in use to monitor the arrivals and departures of foreign nationals.