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ACC to investigate 22 cases against Fenaka lodged by internal 'whistleblowers'

Ahmed Aiham
21 September 2020, MVT 14:56
FENAKA ANTI CORRUPTION AGREEMENT / FENAKA MD
Ahmed Aiham
21 September 2020, MVT 14:56

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), on Monday, decided to investigate a total of 22 cases out of a total of 28 issues that were lodged against Fenaka Corporation by its employees.

According to ACC spokesperson Hassan Manik, the reduction of cases investigated by the commission was a result of certain cases being compiled into a single suit.

Although Fenaka's staff, including Managing Director Ahmed Saeed Mohamed, signed a pledge on July 1, 2019 to uphold the incumbent administration's 'Zero Tolerance to Corruption ' policy, the majority of cases filed cited issues against the MD.

Furthermore, MD Saeed refuted the claims, maintaining his stance that the cases were part of a smear campaign against him.

"I reiterate, I have not done such things. Theft, bribery, these are not things that I know".

The 192-page report submitted to ACC alleged various levels of corruption across the year 2019 and 2020.

The document also presented evidentiary material, including receipts, and contained details pertaining to various contracted parties.

In the letter sent to ACC, Fenaka employees noted that corruption within the company was previously reported to other relevant institutions and met with no avail, warning that state funds may go missing if the issue was left unchecked.

Moreover, the whistleblowers raised concerns over existing close ties between MD Saeed and a member of the ACC and accused both individuals of having discussed the cases against Fenaka over the phone.

Certain cases filed against Fenaka

- Procurement of waterproof padlocks: Fenaka, in violation of its procurement policies, acquired padlocks worth MVR 742,000, without the required public tender. Prior to the transaction, Fenaka's technical staff identified that the locks did not meet specifications.

- Equipment worth over MVR 5 million was acquired via a close associate of the company's MD, once more forgoing the public tendering process.

- At least 200 water sampling bottles were acquired at an inflated cost of MVR 835 per bottle, in violation of current procurement policy.

- A powerhouse for development on Vaadhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, was contracted for MVR 3 million to an individual identified to be a direct relative of MD Saeed.

- Employees were promoted in violation of the company's human resource policy.

- An RO plant was established on Ihavandhoo, Haa Alif Atoll, without a public tender. A water shortage was reported after the island's water processing plant had initially broken down. Allegedly, the matter was left unattended, for the purpose of awarding the contract to a particular party under emergency procurement protocols.

This is the first time that Fenaka, which was described as a "nest of corruption" during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's tenure, was accused of foul play during the incumbent administration.

Last December, Saeed had declared that Fenaka saved MVR 23 million by October 2019, after abolishing the presence of corruption across the cooperation.

At the time, referring to statistics, Saeed asserted that the company's efforts to clear its tarnished name had resulted in notable profit.

Prior to said instance, Saeed also spoke about acts of corruption conducted by certain companies via Fenaka, by selling oil at above-market prices. Then, Saeed had claimed that former parliamentary representatives of Fonadhoo constituency and Vilufushi constituency were shareholders of said companies.

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