The Supreme Court, on Monday, upheld Civil Court’s verdict ordering Sultans of the Seas Pvt Ltd to pay MVR 110 million to the state over fraudulence in importing two speedboats 12 years ago.
Local travel agency, Sultans, was accused of deceiving authorities by claiming that the speedboats, imported separately in December 2007 and March 2008, were in used condition and altering the price on paper.
In 2010, the state lodged the case at Civil Court, resulting in the court ordering Sultans to pay MVR 110 million in import duty and fines.
However, the High Court later nullified the Civil Court’s verdict, and declared that Sultans will not have to make the payment.
The state then appealed the case at the apex court, which upheld the Civil Court’s verdict, adding that the matter can be reinvestigated if necessary.
The Supreme Court’s verdict also noted that the current laws require investigations into such fraudulent acts to be concluded within a certain period from the import date, but the law was not in effect at the time Sultans brought in the two speedboats.
Therefore, the verdict asserted that Maldives Customs Service has the power to take measures against Sultans if the investigation reveals that the company had altered the prices to pay a lower import duty for the goods.
The apex court also nullified the High Court’s verdict on the case, declaring that it was against legal and judicial policies.
Judge Ali Rasheed, Judge Mahaaz Ali Zahir and Judge Dr Mohamed Ibrahim were on the Supreme Court bench for the state versus Sultans case.