Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) on Thursday disclosed that the company leased land from Baresdhoo, Laamu Atoll, to 10 parties including those filling the positions of ministers, parliament members and Managing Directors in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration.
MITDC's Managing Director (MD) Mohamed Raaid revealed this information during a session held by the parliamentary committee for State-Owned Enterprises (SOE).
According to Raaid, land was leased from Baresdhoo to a top official in an independent organisation. However, the MD claimed that land was leased through a bidding process following all necessary procedures.
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) initiated the project to develop an Integrated Tourism Village in Baresdhoo in 2014.
Raaid stated that MMPRC leased Baresdhoo to 19 parties at the time and earned MVR 34 million as the Land Acquisition Cost (LAC).
Later, the ownership of Baresdhoo was shifted under MITDC following its establishment in 2016. Raaid stated that MITDC received MVR 14 million from the island's earnings.
MITDC then acquired an additional MVR 21 million by leasing the island, raising the total revenue generated from Baresdhoo to MVR 55 million, as per Raaid's statements to the SOE Committee.
Some parties that rented land in Baresdhoo demanded for a refund on their lease agreements due to the halt in the island's development.
To date, it is reported that sums amounting over USD 560,000 were paid as compensation to various parties.