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MPL acquired MVR 86 million worth of goods unlawfully: audit

Shahudha Mohamed
12 December 2019, MVT 11:22
Maldives Ports Limited head office in Male' City. FILE PHOTO / MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
12 December 2019, MVT 11:22

Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) acquired MVR 86 million worth of goods through unlawful means, against standard procedures and without bidding processes, revealed the company's audit report.

The special report released by Auditor General (AG) Hassan Ziyath disclosed that through the years 2015 to 2017, MPL acquired goods without issuing any announcement for bidders to come forward.

According to the report, the MVR 86 million worth of goods were obtained through quotations from different parties, and that MPL's board decided on these parties in the case of MVR 62 million worth of goods.

MPL formerly stated that some of the goods were bought through the necessary procedures required in emergency situations, but the audit revealed that the company was facing no such circumstances.

The report noted that MPL had ample time and opportunity to conduct a bidding process. Therefore, in the audit report, AG advised to file a complaint against MPL at the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate whether the bidding process was avoided to benefit certain parties.

MVR 13 million to two companies for land plots on Thilafushi

AG's report revealed that MPL signed agreements with two companies to buy the lease rights of two land plots in the landfill island of Thilafushi, Kaafu Atoll. Although MPL paid off MVR 13 million out of the required MVR 14.9 million, MPL did not utilise these plots even by the end of 2018.

The report further stated that MPL did not regard the prices and remaining duration on the agreements made by the companies with Thilafushi Corporation, in MPL's agreement to buy the lease rights for the land plots.

MPL paid over MVR 5 million to one company but did not obtain the lease rights of the land.

Since MPL disregarded the value of land plots, AG advised to submit a case to ACC regarding this issue as well.

MVR 6 million lost as advance payment

According to the report, MPL did not receive the advance payment made for a landing craft ordered from a Singaporean company, which MPL later rejected stating that it failed to meet standards.

When the vessel was docked at Indonesia, two MPL employees conducted the inspection into the landing craft and approved it. However, MPL rejected the craft when it was brought because it did not fit the requirements.

The audit report advised to launch an investigation into the two employees who conducted the inspection over suspected negligence.

MVR 37 million awarded as advance payments

Many corruption allegations were made against MPL in the past as well, now revealed by the AG's audit.

The company issued MVR 37 million in advance payments, without conducting the necessary procedures. MPL also bought a marine vessel for MVR 6.9 million, which was not put to use even after two years.

Moreover, the report disclosed that container carriers acquired at a cost of over MVR 22 million were not even in a usable state.

The report further reveals that MPL bought US Dollars at an inflated rate for MVR 5.4 million, while MVR 8.91 million was issued outside of the policy allowing payouts for donations and sponsors.