The Edition


Anti Corruption Commission probes Sealife's USD 15,000 deposit to former President's account

Raif Amyl Jalyl
14 July 2019, MVT 16:05
Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom talks to reporters after the police summons. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Raif Amyl Jalyl
14 July 2019, MVT 16:05

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) is set to launch an investigation into Sealife Global over the deposit of USD 15,000 to the account of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, local media Mihaaru revealed on Sunday.

Mihaaru stated that the publication received documents confirming that the graft watchdog is initiating a probe into the company.

Sealife Global was previously implicated in a major housing project scam in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale', where they are accused of taking MVR millions in order to complete the 3000 housing units.

According to Mihaaru, an ACC official gave confirmation that the graft watchdog was investigating into the company over the transaction. However, details were not disclosed as the investigation is still underway.

ACC disclosed the week prior that there were transactions made into Yameen's account from three projects. ACC members revealed during questioning by the Financial Committee of the Parliament that the transactions were exposed by the bank statements uncovered during the members' investigation into the major Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) graft scandal.

Mihaaru further reported that, in addition to the money deposited into Yameen's account as salary, allowances, and dividends, the account was used to make transactions by certain independent individuals and companies, including from Sealife Global. The documents acquired by Mihaaru revealed that the companies transaction was made into the account on March 18, 2014.

Sealife Global and Housing Development Corporation (HDC) signed on as contractors on March 14, 2014. The Economic Council of the President's Office had decided to contract the project without a bid. Yameen had laid the foundation for housing project.

ACC is further investigating into Sealife over how they were given land and contracted for the project to erect 3000 flats in Hulhumale'.

Additionally, the graft watchdog is probing into their acquisition of land in Thinadhoo, Vaavu Atoll, to construct a luxury villa during ex-President Mohamed Nasheed's administration.

Article 119 of the constitution restricts the President and Vice President from engaging in business or in the practice of any profession, or any other income generating employment, or from being employed by any person, buying or leasing any property belonging to the State, or having a financial interest in any transaction between the State and any other party.

Yameen at several ceremonies denied the charges against him alleging his involvement in major graft scandals that occurred during the previous administration.

The former-President maintains his stance that he is not involved in any graft scandals, including the MVR 1.3 billion siphoned out of MMPRC.

However, he was charged with money laundering over the case.

The charges was levelled against him over the two cheques depositing USD 1 million to Yameen's savings account in Islamic Bank. The money deposited into the account, was subsequently deposited into a General Investment Account.

Yameen later agreed with ACC to transfer the amount to an escrow account in Bank of Maldives Ltd. However, the state accused that the funds Yameen transferred were not the USD 1 million originally deposited to his MIB account by SOF.