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MMPRC culprits still in positions: Former MMA governor

Mariyam Malsa
25 July 2019, MVT 14:34
Former governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA). PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
25 July 2019, MVT 14:34

Former governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) Ahmed Naseer, on Wednesday, declared that the real culprits behind the 1.3 billion corruption scandal of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) had not only evaded investigation but were still serving in high-level positions in the government and the central bank.

Following his resignation earlier the same day, Naseer issued a statement asserting that the MMPRC case had surfaced prior to his appointment as the MMA governor.

However, Naseer alleged that the previous MMA leadership was in frequent contact with former Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb, an individual implicated in the scandal. The former MMA head stated that the central bank's records would support his statement.

Referring to matters concerning the graft scandal, Naseer claimed that the governor preceding his tenure, along with other MMA officials and heads of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had failed to act with adequate responsibility. Naseer stated that his internal review of MMA, as well as several investigations, would serve to support these statements.

"The criminal cases noted during the internal audit were submitted to the police in March. If a just investigation is conducted, it will provide enough evidence to take measures".

The former MMA governor emphasized the necessity of investigating the MMPRC corruption case and recovering embezzled state funds. Noting that confidence must be restored in government institutions to accomplish these tasks, Naseer alleged that there were certain individuals within the administration that do not wish for such a restoration of trust.

"There is widespread unease among individuals in the financial sector, concerning the actions MMA took or did not take, regarding the MMPRC case", said Naseer.

Despite several hanging corruption allegations against Naseer, he denounced them as lacking basis and stated that the "rumors" were a result of his probe into the MMPRC case.

Naseer further stated that, upon assuming position as governer of MMA, he had come to realize the magnitude of correcting these issues and regaining public trust.

Considered the largest corruption case recorded in the history of Maldives, the MMPRC corruption involved the embezzlement of over MVR 1.3 billion, acquired via island and lagoon leases for tourism, through a private company SOF Pvt Ltd.

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