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Asset Recovery Commission begins probe on MMPRC scandal

Ahmed Aiham
10 January 2019, MVT 14:44
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih with the Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset recovery. PHOTO:PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Ahmed Aiham
10 January 2019, MVT 14:44

The Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset recovery has commenced its investigation into the MVR 1.4 billion embezzlement scandal of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

The commission has requested the public to divulge any information pertaining to the largest corruption case that took place in Maldives.

According to audit reports, a large amount of money, financed via the leasing of islands and lagoons by MMPRC, had been routed to SOF Pvt Ltd. The company is owned by a close acquaintance of former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.

It is alleged that former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, along with ministers and top officials of the former administration, illicitly benefited from the money routed through the company.

Investigations into the MMPRC scandal commenced in 2015, and several cases were forwarded to the Prosecutor General's Office last year for indictment. Among those prosecuted and convicted of being involved in the graft are former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and MMPRC's former Managing Director Abdulla Ziyath, who are currently serving hefty jail sentences.

Yameen recently asserted that the USD 1 million SOF deposited into his account at Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) rightfully belonged to him as no court of law or government institution has proven otherwise.

The former president has been accused of money laundering and provision of false information to government institutions regarding the corruption scandal. Yameen has denied these accusations.

The purpose of the commission is to investigate cases of the misuse of government funds, between January 1, 2012 until the date of incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s inauguration.

The commission was created to fulfil one of President Solih’s presidential pledges, which guaranteed the recovery of embezzled state funds.

There was recently much public criticism over the slow progress of the commission.

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