Most visitors to islands in the Maldives are treated to quite a reception. It’s not just the crystalline blue waters and astonishing coral reefs, or the fine, golden sand. It’s the welcome. The smiling faces of resort staff lined up on the jetty, waiting to help you off the launch and into the time of your life: the petals scattered underfoot, the massages, the air-conditioned chocolate cave – no effort is too great. After all, it’s not cheap. The Maldives received more than 1.3 million tourists last year, 100,000 of them British, with some paying £4,000 a night for the privilege.
Eleven years ago, however, one particular group of visitors to an island here got a very different reception.
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