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Ex-minister Shainee funded UK politician's holiday in Maldives: BBC

Shahudha Mohamed
26 June 2019, MVT 16:13
Former President Abdualla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Ian Paisely (on Yameen's right) with British-Maldives All Party Parliamentary Group. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Shahudha Mohamed
26 June 2019, MVT 16:13

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Wednesday that Maldives' former Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Mohamed Shainee allegedly funded the holiday of a British parliament member, who advocated for former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's government when his administration faced backlash in international communities.

According to the news report, Shainee requested the accommodation and settled the payment for Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)'s Ian Paisely and his family's holiday in Maldives.

BBC stated that the allegations were raised based on a statement provided to the media by Director of Sunland Hotels Hussain Hilmy. The statement read that Mohamed Shainee requested Sunland Hotel's co-owner for a rate at one of the company's resorts in 2016.

However, Shainee denied BBC's allegations of arranging or paying for the trip.

It was reported last year that Paisely failed to disclose information about his 2016 holiday to the British parliament. The MP had formerly maintained that he covered half the expenses of the trip and the rest had been paid by a friend who was unconnected to his work.

Paisely visited Maldives in 2016 with three other British MPs under the name of British-Maldives All Party Parliamentary Group in an alleged attempt to cover up the injustice of Yameen's government.

The delegation of MPs visited Maafushi Prison in which former President Mohamed Nasheed was detained and described the standard of the prison as quite luxurious.

During his presidency, Yameen was criticised by international organisations such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth for various human rights abuse cases. Paisely spoke out in UK's parliament and media against the economic sanctions proposed by then opposition and current ruling coalition.

BBC's report states that the holiday funded by Shainee took place before the delegation's visit to Maldives.

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