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MMPRC graft funds transferred to 7 state officials, 16 MPs

Mariyam Malsa
25 October 2019, MVT 10:02
A press conference held concerning the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Corruption case. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
25 October 2019, MVT 10:02

Maldives Police Service, on Thursday, revealed that funds embezzled in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption scandal were transferred to seven state officials and 16 parliamentarians.

The information was disclosed during a press conference held by Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed, newly appointed president of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Mariyam Shiuna and president of the Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery Ahmed Assad.

They disclosed that 44 former parliamentarians, five civil society members and 23 individuals from the security forces also received embezzled funds.

The MMPRC scandal is the largest corruption case recorded in Maldivian history. According to the current administration, over MVR 3.3 billion acquired via the leasing of islands and lagoons for tourism purposes were embezzled through MMPRC, during the previous government.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz stated that the overall number of people who derived benefits from embezzled state funds reached 267 despite previously a reported figure of 177.

Riyaz stated that embezzled funds were used to finance primary elections held internally by political parties as well as for the campaigns of individuals that contested. Additionally, he further added that the funds were spent on appointing an individual to the position of Speaker of Parliament and various other elections.

The Commissioner of Police stated that the police currently had no intentions of publicizing the list as investigations were ongoing. He added that the police had already questioned some of the individuals included among the 267 and would continue the probe.

The Commissioner stated that investigations into government officials accused of deriving benefits from the MMPRC scandal would be launched soon.

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