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MITDC funds allegedly used to construct PPM office

21 March 2019, MVT 16:20
Opening ceremony of PPM's new office building. Allegations have surfaced that MVR 2 million of MITDC's budget was used to pay for the building's construction. PHOTO: MIHAARU / NISHAN ALI.
21 March 2019, MVT 16:20

Allegations have surfaced that MVR 2 million was allocated from Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC)’s budget to construct the office of opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

According to the recently appointed Managing Director of MITDC, Mohamed Raid, a board member and an employee of the company were suspended in January 2019 after Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigated the allegations.

“The invoices stated that it was used to pay for construction of this office [MITDC]. However, the expenditure was used to construct a political party office”, said Raid.

PPM’s office was constructed over the court order to hand over PPM ownership to former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom amidst his dispute with former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Prior to the construction of the office, Yameen’s supporters completed PPM office tasks at Dharubaaruge convention centre.

Allegations were also made that during Yameen’s administration, large quantities of expenditure was used from government companies’ budgets for personal and political gains.

Moreover, accusations have also arised that funding from Maldives Gas budget was used in constructing a mosque in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale, which was built in honour of the parents of former First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim.

However, Maldives Gas' former Managing Director Abdulla Maumoon refuted claims that MVR 2.5 million from the company was used to construct the mosque.

He claimed that while the mosque was completed over the course of two years and more than MVR 4 million was used in its construction, none of the money was contributed by Maldives Gas. He asserted that the mosque was paid for by then First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim independently.