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BML requests temporary stay order amidst ongoing probe

Raif Amyl Jalyl
19 July 2019, MVT 14:04
Questions were posed to BML for alleged non-compliance to an investigation in relation to the probe into the infamous Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) graft scandal. BML denied claims of negligence and maintained that everything they did was in line with the regulations. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Raif Amyl Jalyl
19 July 2019, MVT 14:04

Bank of Maldives (BML) on Thursday requested the Civil Court to temporarily halt taking actions against their employees over noncompliance with providing information until after the hearings conclude for the ongoing case.

The bank had submitted a case against the Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery in order to mandate that unless a court order is issued, the bank would not have to comply with providing information to investigative institutions. The current case underway was submitted by the bank to invalidate the Asset Recovery Commission's request for information, and for the Civil Court to make a decision regarding the matter.

BML was complying with providing information to investigative bodies until July 7. However, the bank decided to stop complying afterwards due to the terms identified under the High Court verdict issued on March 31 nullifying the Criminal Court order that former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's bank accounts be frozen over the charges of money laundering levelled against him.

Prior to this, the bank was abiding the terms of Banking Act and disclosing information about the bank's customers' accounts, deposits, trusts and safe deposit box, in accordance with requests by any party that is given investigative authority or the Prosecutor General's written document.

Referring to the verdict by the High Court about Yameen's frozen accounts, BML stated that a court order is required to provide information even to investigative authorities.

While BML's case against the Commission was filed on Thursday, it is currently in the Dispute Resolution Division of Civil Court. Meanwhile, Anti-Corruption Commission requested their intervention into the matter. Local media Mihaaru reported that a letter was sent by ACC, Asset Recovery Commission and Maldives Police Service to the bank that actions may need to be taken in the case of noncompliance with providing information to investigative authorities.

Questions were posed to BML for alleged non-compliance to an investigation in relation to the probe into the infamous Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) graft scandal where billions of Rufiyaa were siphoned out of the company. BML denied claims of negligence and maintained that everything they did was in line with the regulations.

Furthermore, BML had previously stated that they would support investigations but the current precedence mandates a constitutional solution.

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