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Committee to probe ex-housing minister over Noomadi case

Mariyam Malsa
03 December 2019, MVT 09:14
Flats under construction by Noomadi Resorts and Residences. PHOTO: NOOMADI
Mariyam Malsa
03 December 2019, MVT 09:14

The parliament's Committee on Economic Affairs, on Monday, decided to investigate whether former housing minister Dr Mohamed Muizzu derived unlawful financial gains from the case of Noomadi Resorts and Residences Maldives.

The incumbent administration paid USD 55 million (MVR 848 million) to Noomadi in compensation for the former government unlawfully terminating contracts with the company.

The committee also decided to penalize individuals found to be negligent concerning the matter. Both decisions were approved by the majority of the committee's members.

Speaking during a meeting, Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb stated that Dr Muizzu had refused to answer questions repeatedly posed during the committee's inquiry regarding his statements during the arbitration process.

However, Dr Muizzu revealed that he had later changed the information that he initially provided to arbitration.

MP Ilyas Labeeb stated that the manner in which the former housing minister responded to questions led him to believe that he derived some benefit from the case.

The investigation into the previous housing minister will also probe allegations of providing false information to the committee and issuing statements in a manner that harmed the government.

Hanimaadhoo MP Abdul Ghafoor stressed that the nullification of the Noomadi agreement resulted in significant costs to the government.

Highlighting that Muizzu was responsible for terminating the agreement, the Hanimaadhoo MP expressed that the Noomadi case should be submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Auditor General's Office and Police despite the fact that it was settled.

Some top officials of the current administration previously claimed that former minister Muizzu admitted that the state pulled the plug on Noomadi's projects in violation of the agreement. They also alleged that Muizzu addressed a document to the arbitration firm stating that the agreements were annulled on Yameen's orders.

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