Maldives authorities say that they intercepted a boat with seven foreign tourists and local crew apparently heading to the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, where the United States maintains a military base.

Cabinet Minister Mohamed Shareef said Wednesday that those arrested Monday are in police custody but refused to reveal the nationalities of the tourists.

He said they had offered the boat crew $8,000 per day "regardless of how many days the tour would take."

He said the motive was not clear and the relevant countries have been informed of the arrests.

Diego Garcia lies south of the archipelago nation of the Maldives.