Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) has filed a lawsuit at the Civil Court seeking USD 129 million (MVR 1.9 billion) from three companies of opposition lawmaker and leader of Jumhoory Party Qasim Ibrahim.
MIRA filed the lawsuit last Thursday against Villa Holidays, Gazeera Pvt Ltd and Maamenfushi Pvt Ltd, all of which are managed under Maamigili MP Qasim Ibrahim’s corporate Villa Group.
The companies are charged over failing to pay the island and land leases of three islands which were leased for resort development. MIRA is seeking fines of USD 35 million from Villa Holidays, USD 77 million from Maamenfushi and USD 17 million from Gazeera.
MIRA is also suing Qasim Ibrahim’s Villa Shipping and Trading Company and Villa Hotels for USD 37 million (MVR 528 million). The court hearings of the cases are ongoing at the Civil Court.
MP Qasim Ibrahim himself is undergoing a criminal trial for allegedly bribing lawmakers. The trial is currently on hold due to Qasim’s poor health after he was hospitalized for the third time.
According to his lawyers, doctors have stated that Qasim Ibrahim is in dire need of a heart surgery that is not available in the Maldives. However, the lawmaker is unable to travel abroad due to a travel ban imposed on him by the state.