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Graft watchdog seeks to seize house bought with stolen state funds

Fathmath Shaahunaz
13 December 2016, MVT 15:00
MMPRC's former Managing Director Abdulla Ziyath escorted after a hearing. MIHAARU PHOTO
Fathmath Shaahunaz
13 December 2016, MVT 15:00

The Maldives graft watchdog forwarded a case to the Prosecutor General’s Office on Tuesday to seize a house in reclaimed surburb Hulhumale that was purchased with stolen funds from the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)’s corruption scandal by its former Managing Director Abdulla Ziyath.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is seeking corruption charges against Ziyath for taking undue advantage of his position to embezzle state funds.

In a statement, ACC said that investigations have revealed that the No. 10721 land plot and its building in Hulhumale were purchased by Ziyath during his tenure as MMPRC’s head, under his younger sibling’s name, using state funds earned via the leasing of Mathiveri sandbank in Alif Alif atoll. ACC did not specify which of his siblings’ name was used for the purchase.

ACC further disclosed that Ziyath had bought the building for MVR 5 million and that Hulhumale Magistrate Court had ruled it a valid transaction.

The MMPRC scandal is the largest case of corruption in the Maldives history, where MVR 1.2 billion worth of funds received as acquisition costs via island leases for resort development had been embezzled through the corporation. Ziyath is currently serving a five year jail sentence over the corruption, while Police and the ACC are probing various cases related to the embezzlement.

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