The Maldives and drugs - A dark side of paradise

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

In May 2012, South Asia Wired presented a familiar global problem that had rapidly become a major problem in a very unlikely place.

The Maldives are usually billed as a tourist paradise. With its pristine beaches and idyllic scenery, it's easy to see why many honeymooners flock to the island resorts.

But this paradise has a dark underbelly.

Drug abuse is one of its biggest problems. More than 40 percent of young Maldivians are active users of hard drugs. Male, the Maldives' main island, has a population of just 130,000, but according to reports, there are more than 30,000 addicts on this island alone.

South Asia Wired's Devi Boerema went to Male and made a report you can hear on this week's program.

Click here to listen to the show, or click here.