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HDC submits 48 mln corruption case against former head

Mariyam Malsa
15 January 2020, MVT 16:43
Former CEO of HDC Ahmed Bunyamin. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
15 January 2020, MVT 16:43

The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) submitted a MVR 48 million corruption case against former CEO Ahmed Bunyamin, to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The case, along with several others, was lodged following an internal audit of the corporation. All reported incidents took place during the presidency of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Bunyamin's case concerns his decision to forgive all fines relating to flats and land plots, two days before the 2018 presidential election. The decision contradicted that of the HDC board, which determined that leniency would only be granted to individuals that had incurred fines within a specified period.

HDC's statement on the matter, released on September 20, 2018, asserted that the decision to forgive fines was finalised in accordance with counsel from the government and was intended to facilitate a self-sufficient life for citizens.

However, HDC did not reveal the total amount of fines forgiven or the number of individuals who were fined for failing to make rent payments.

At present, it is unclear whether Bunyamin returned to Maldives after he took leave from his duties at HDC and left the country in October 2018.

Speaking to local media Mihaaru, HDC's Managing Director Suhail Ahmed revealed that four employees were dismissed for acting in a manner that harmed the company following the internal audit. He further disclosed that the dismissed individuals had served in leading positions at certain HDC departments.

Highlighting that the audit committee on HDC's board was fully active, Suhail assured that appropriate measures would be taken concerning corruption cases.

HDC faced numerous financial difficulties following significant expenditure during the previous administration, incurring a debt figure of MVR 14 billion.

The corporation is accused of spending millions for Yameen's campaign ahead of the 2018 presidential election. ACC previously confirmed receiving several cases involving HDC which include questionable methods of issuing flats and land leasing as well as allegations of being implicated in conducting projects which resulted in considerable losses for the state.

The parliament's state-owned enterprises committee also conducted an inquiry into HDC's alleged corruption.

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