Leaked documents have revealed that the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Home Affairs alloted MVR44 Million and MVR5 million from their respective budgets to Strada Pvt.Ltd, a company charged with organizing several government ceremonies.
Whilst the payment of MVR44 million by the Housing Ministry funded numerous events, the Home Ministry had also contributed MVR5 Million to the local company in order to organize events during the independence day celebration 2018.
Strada, which has holdings in food and beverage, brand franchising and event management, was notably assigned organizing the event of the Sinamale bridge inauguration last August. While the event featured an extravagant display of fireworks, documents prove that considerable sums of money were spent by the Housing Ministry on sound, lighting, importation of materials and chartering a flight for the team in charge of the fireworks for the event.
The housing ministry also contributed money to Strada for their subsidary, the Newport Restaurant, to plan the opening ceremony of the food courts established by STO at the Male' South West Harbour.
In addition, Strada also organised the inauguration ceremonies of several harbours in islands of Kolhufushi, Meemu Atoll, Kanditheem, Shaviyani Atoll, Guraidhoo, Thaa Atoll and Baarah in Haa Alif Atoll.
The documents have surfaced at a time when the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Maldives has made accusations stating that deals were handed over to the company in a manner that encourages corruption.
ACC has ordered the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to delay the outstanding payment of MVR15 million to Strada to compensate for the demolition of ChaTime situated by the SinaMale' Bridge Viewing Platform for government purposes.
ACC had also submitted a complaint against Newport company over the alleged illegal assignment of the cater deal for a feast held o the 50th anniversary of independence in 2016.
The housing ministry had earlier issued a statement denying any assigned deals to companies in violation of the law.