Warning – screwed in the Maldives!
I have never been in a country more corrupt than the Maldives. I have been stuck in this hole, amongst floating islands of garbage, for 103 days, quarantined on my sailboat.
My government mandated agent, Big Wave Private Limited, charged me MVR 60,122.26 (3891.41 USD) in “fees,” to include several “speed” charges, “documentation charges,” “port reload charges,” “sundry charges,” and even MVR 1000 “for dinner with MNDF official.” The final “invoice” was completely different from what I was told when I arrived. Plus twice the cost. Then added 12% on top of everything as a “credit card convenience fee.” WTF?? The classic “bait and switch,” with the we have your passport and will not give it to you until you pay. Unbelievable!
Stay away from Big Wave Private Limited, unless you have a desire to be screwed!
Meanwhile, I have had zero support attempting to buy food, water and fuel. I needed the support of the USA Embassy, as well as the foreign ministry, the Dutch and Swiss Counselate, to receive delivery of 2 packages sent to me from the USA. Of course, there were “documentation and delivery fees” with that also.
The only reason I’ve heard to visit the Maldives is for the diving. Yet, every time I did some snorkeling I was immediately accosted by some local security telling me that I was on “private property.” Everything is illegal. Everything is a “big problem.”
Everywhere you look, corruption. But as a friend said, the Maldives is the 5th world, and the shit is about to hit the fan. But not to worry, this is the 5th world, and the fan doesn’t work anyway!