President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Sunday accused the opposition of knowing where the state funds, which were embezzled through Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), currently are and called on them to clarify their whereabouts.
The president made the allegation during his campaign trip to Guraidhoo, Thaa Atoll.
Investigations into the biggest corruption scandal in Maldives to date have uncovered that funds amounting to a staggering MVR 1.2 billion are missing.
Although the corruption of MMPRC took place during president Yameen's reign, he stated that he is not aware of where the missing funds are, but that the opposition would know.
"They should find this money. We have tried and we are aware these funds are missing. We just don't know where it is," said President Yameen.
Although the president had spoken about the missing MMPRC money on several occasions before, this is the first time he has accused the opposition of being aware of the funds' whereabouts.
Speaking to the people of Guraidhoo, the president stated that the opposition was not capable of uncovering the corruption conducted by the previous Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ruling and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's government.
The president further alleged that those guilty of corruption are currently in alliance with MDP, and thus the opposition coalition will make no moves to uncover the truth. He also claimed that the opposition was using the embezzled funds to finance their activities.
According to President Yameen, the first thing the opposition need to do is to explain the disappearance of MVR 1.5 billion from various government institutions during MDP's presidency.
Since the opposition is calling to release the jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, whom President Yameen alleged was likely to have been involved in the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on February 1, he declared that it indicated the opposition's close relationship with Adheeb. The former vice president is currently serving 33 years for his involvement in the MMPRC graft scandal and for orchestrating an assassination attempt on the president.
Pointing out how former President Mohamed Nasheed and Jumooree Party's leader Qasim Ibrahim both fled the country in the wake of their prison verdicts, the president noted that they had both been granted permission to leave the country for medical treatment abroad However, the two have since absconded, and President Yameen proclaimed that they were being politically active from afar as they did not have the nerve to act from the Maldives itself.
The president stated that former VP Adheeb will not be sent abroad for medical aid unless he paid the amounts stolen through MMPRC. He repeatedly called on Adheeb to repay the embezzled funds.