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Lack of Cooperation by MIRA to MMPRC Corruption Audit

Lujine Rasheed
14 September 2018, MVT 10:01
Stealing paradise
Lujine Rasheed
14 September 2018, MVT 10:01

Former Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim attributes a lack of corporation by Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) to the commencement of the audit pertaining to the colossal corruption scandal of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

Niyaz was dismissed from his position as the Auditor General upon the commencement of his investigation regarding the MMPRC corruption scandal.

He took to Facebook, publishing a video to express his dismay over his dismissal.

In the video, he highlighted that he had not received any documents despite lawfully requesting MIRA to submit the documents necessary for the investigation of the MMPRC corruption scandal. He also stated that MIRA was unresponsive to his requests, even with the advice of the Attorney General.

"When I was not able to get the documents I requested to meet the Commissioner General of Taxation. I thoroughly oriented him with the legalities involved in this process. However, he was also not willing to cooperate with us and firmly stated that the taxpayer's information did not concern the Auditor General", said Niyaz.

Niyaz currently resides in Sri Lanka due to death threats received in connection to the statements he made in the 2016 documentary 'Stealing Paradise'.

Moreover, Niyaz reiterated the uncooperative responses by MIRA, stating that he sent an additional request under the advisement of the Attorney General, which stipulated that MIRA should issue the information and that access to the information would be granted.

"However, MIRA did not cooperate with us. The Auditor General can only take responsibility with access to documents from all other institutions as well. A lot of difficulties were faced throughout the procedure because of the aforementioned institutions", said Niyaz.

Niyaz mentioned that he had discussed the procedures with the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), stating that these procedures which were discussed between the Auditor General and the board members of ACC, which were extended to then Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Adeeb.

"We have learnt that the MMPRC scandal not only benefited Adeeb, but select members of ACC as well. Their actions suggests a strong possibility for this", said Niyaz.

Continuing his statement, Niyaz shed light to the lack of cooperation received for the investigative audit by MMPRC and the Ministry of Tourism. Niyaz cited this as the biggest obstacle faced despite having worked intently to carry out this investigative audit during his time of serving as the Auditor General.

While speaking at a ceremony held in Gan, Seenu, President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has vehemently denied having any knowledge about the MMPRC's corruption scandal.

Niyaz was able to expose certain portions of the MMPRC corruption scandal before he was dismissed from his position as Auditor General in 2015. He also publicly exposed the deal that was made by Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) to buy dollars. Niyaz has been at the receiving end of much criticism from senior officials due to this.

Ironically, the newly sworn-in Attorney General is alleged to be one of the main individuals involved in the MMPRC corruption scandal.

Following the 'bomb blast' in 2015 aboard the 'Finifenma' launch, former minister Ahmed Adeeb, and Abdullah Ziyath as well as other individuals in affiliation with Adeeb were taken in for questioning.

Adeeb, Ziyath and businessman Hameed were subsequently arrested.

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