President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has stated that the greatest betrayal to the island nation was the selling off of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport to GMR group of India during President Nasheed’s regime.
During a campaign trip to Raa Atoll Dhuvaafaru, President Yameen stated that the opposition administration handed over the airport to India’s GMR for a period of 25 years, understanding the terms of agreement and added that the act was indecent and the greatest betrayal to the people of Maldives.
President Yameen further declared that the opposition had aimed criticism at him after President Yameen expressed his disapproval of the transaction.
The government of former president Mohamed Waheed, who rose to office following Nasheed’s fall from power, had taken back the airport from GMR as the agreement was debilitating to both Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) and Maldivian citizens. However, USD271 million was paid to GMR as compensation fee during President Yameen’s regime.
President Yameen also stated that the Commission on State Assests Recovery has revealed that an estimated total of MVR22 billion was embezzled from the state in the past 35 years.
The Commission on State Assests Recovery was formed by President Yameen to oversee the recovery of state assets marked as misused or stolen by the Auditor General’s office and the Anti-Corruption Commission. The commission is currently looking into several cases in order to recover missing funds and assets of the state.