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87 corruption cases reported over Independence 50 activities: ACC

Mariyam Malsa
25 February 2020, MVT 14:41
Flag raising ceremony held during the 50th Independence Day celebrations. PHOTO: MOHAMED SHARUHAAN/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
25 February 2020, MVT 14:41

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), on Monday revealed that 87 corruption cases were reported in relation to the 50th Independence Day celebrations in 2015.

According to local media outlet Mihaaru, an ACC official disclosed that investigations were ongoing for 39 of the aforementioned cases while 48 were successfully concluded.

ACC did not disclose the number of completed cases forwarded to the Prosecutor General's Office for charges.

The corruption watchdog's statements are corroborated by the Auditor General's 2015 report on the Ministry of Home Affairs, which asserts that funds from the State Budget were illegally used for celebratory events.

As per the audit report, MVR 66 million was spent against regulations for Independence Day celebration projects which were conducted without bidding processes under a special permit from the Ministry of Finance.

The audit report further added that several projects contradicted this permit as well as the Public Finance Act, with details on these expenses.

This includes more than MVR 19 million spent on the installation of panels to light up the capital city of Male' for the celebrations, and MVR 9.3 million spent for the installation of lights in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale' and Vilimale' in addition to the capital.

Furthermore, more than MVR 18 million was used to rent and install sound and lighting for the military parade and drills held at the National Football Stadium.

Another MVR 2.7 million was spent on a music show as well as MVR 5.2 million used to procure equipment for Public Service Media (PSM) to conduct a live broadcast of the festivities.

The government has yet to take any action concerning the issues mentioned in the audit report.

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