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PG urges decisive action against those implicated in MMPRC graft

Ahmed Aiham
13 February 2020, MVT 13:17
A screengrab from 'Stealing Paradise' an investigative piece by Al-Jazeera on the graft of Maldives Marketing and Pubic Relations Corporation. PHOTO: STEALING PARADISE / AL-JAZEERA
Ahmed Aiham
13 February 2020, MVT 13:17

Prosecutor General (PG) Hussain Shameem on Wednesday, urged the need to take decisive action on those implicated in the MVR 3.3 billion graft of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

Speaking at a press conference held at the PG Office, Shameem noted that investigations into the matter were progressing at a rapid rate up until recently. However, he assured that efforts are underway to expedite the probe.

Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery last year divulged that 267 individuals were connected to the largest scandal to take place in the country.

Led by former vice president Ahmed Adeeb, it is alleged that former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, along with ministers and top officials of the former administration, illicitly benefited from the money routed through the company.

A total of 44 former MPs, 16 currently serving MPs, five members from independent institutions, 30 senior officials from Yameen's government, six senior officials of the incumbent government, seven (currently serving and former) judges and seven officers from national security services had ties to the graft.

"I want something to be done about the list. Either to file charges or not to charge", said Shameem. The commission decided to devise a schedule to determine how to proceed with the investigation.

He also highlighted the negative impact on public trust of the commission when currently serving officials are implicated in the grand corruption.

Investigations into the MMPRC scandal commenced in 2015, and several cases were forwarded to the Prosecutor General's Office last year for indictment. Among those prosecuted and convicted of being involved in the graft are Adeeb, MMPRC's former Managing Director Abdulla Ziyath and Yameen.

The former president was convicted of money laundering over a transaction that involved a deposit of USD 1 million by SOF Pvt Ltd, to Yameen's personal account at Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB).

The Criminal Court sentenced the former president to five years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of USD 5 million over the money laundering charges.

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