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Over MVR90K missing from Detention Center safe: audit

Nafaahath Ibrahim
14 June 2018, MVT 18:51
Male' Jail. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Nafaahath Ibrahim
14 June 2018, MVT 18:51

Maldives Correctional Services's audit report revealed that over MVR 90,000 was missing from Hulhumale Detention Center.

According to the 2014 and 2015 audit report, the latest records of the safe show that MVR 91,615 was missing. However, an additional USD 127 of unknown source was found in the safe.

When records were re-checked in July 3, 2016, MVR 43,935 of the initially missing amount, along with USD 87 collected from the staff, were deposited in the safe again. Hence the final missing amount was MVR 47,680.

The audit report stated that the unbalanced amounts in the safe was due to lack of regulations to follow when handling safe deposits.

Under the Immigration regulations, expatriates who do not abide the law are kept at the Detention Center under the custody of Correctional Services until they are deported. During this time, any cash that belongs to the expats are kept in the safe for safekeeping.

At the time of deporting, the money returned to the workers is at times higher or lower than the amount initially kept in the safe., which creates an imbalance in the amount of money deposited.

The audit report also noted that reports on the safe are done without proper investigations, and thus the exact amount of money that should be in the safe is not clear.

Auditor General Hassan Ziyath advised in the report to take action against those responsible, and recover the missing cash.

Additionally, the audit report highlighted that in order to establish a temporary detention center in Haa Alif Atoll's Neykurendhoo, an advance of 5.4 million was paid to a Chinese company. Development of the centre is still incomplete.

While the advance payment was done against the Public Finance Regulations, the report urged to seek compensation as the work was not completed past deadlines.

As per the Public Finance Regulations, before assigning any state projects to a particular party, an agreement must be signed between the two parties. The audit report revealed that MVR 172,372 had been spent without any agreements.

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