A bikini-clad tourist has been arrested in the Maldives, prompting a public apology from the country’s police chief.
A video circulating on social media shows a woman with a British accent being detained by at least three officers on the island of Maafushi, in the Kaafu atoll.
She can be heard repeatedly shouting “You are sexually assaulting me” as police struggle to put her in handcuffs. Another man can be seen covering part of her body with a towel as she is led away.
Following her arrest, Maldives Police Service Commissioner Mohamed Hameed issued a public apology to the woman, saying the incident appeared to have been “badly handled” by officers.
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”.
Mr Hameed said in a Twitter post: “Incident in Maafushi in which our officers restrained a female tourist seems to be badly handled.
“I apologise to the tourist & the public for this. The challenge I have taken up is to professionalise the police service & we are working on that.
“This matter is being investigated.”
Raajje.mv reported that, while Maafushi is a popular tourist location, wearing bikinis is “strictly prohibited” on local islands. It is, however, permitted in holiday resorts.
The UK Government’s travel advice for the Republic of Maldives states that visitors to the Indian Ocean country should be “sensitive to local dress standards when visiting non-resort islands”.
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.