Northern Ireland news

Ian Paisley Maldivian resort owner released from police custody

Former Maldivian youth minister and fisheries minister Hussain Hilmy
Staff Reporter

A FORMER government minister and part-owner of a luxury resort in the Maldives who helped organise Ian Paisley's holiday has been released from custody, his spokesman has said.

Hussain Hilmy, a former Maldivian youth minister and fisheries minister, was detained last week.

He is a shareholder in Sunland Hotels, owners of the Coco Bodu Hithi resort where the Paisleys stayed in 2016, and helped organise the family's holiday.

It had been reported he was detained over a bounced cheque.

However, his spokesman said yesterday an individual had accused Mr Hilmy of not repaying a full amount of a loan.

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The ex-minister was due to attend court on November 25 but told officials he would be travelling on that date.

Due to an administrative error, officials did not receive his letter and he was detained on his return on December 2.

He was released from police custody a day later, his spokesman said.

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