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President holds a vested interest in MMPRC case: Nasheed

Malika Shahid
22 January 2023, MVT 21:03
Former president and Speaker Mohamed Nasheed during a press conference today at his campaign hub -- Photo: Fayaaz Moosa
Malika Shahid
22 January 2023, MVT 21:03

There is no adequate investigation into the recovery of millions of MVR lost in the Maldives Marketing and Public Corporation (MMPRC) scandal because President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih holds a vested interest in the investigation, MDP President Mohamed Nasheed said today.

Nasheed, who is contesting the MDP presidential primary to be held this Saturday, said in a press conference today that 270 people should be charged in connection with the large scale scam committed during the rule of former President Abdulla Yameen. This is the amount of people that investigators found to have benefited from the fraud in various ways. However, authorities said they did not conclude that the everyone flagged were involved in the crime.

Nasheed said out of 270 people only one person was prosecuted. He alleged that the President had halted investigations into the case.

A list of beneficiaries from the lease of 37 islands and 12 lagoons for tourism purposes has already been released. However, former President Abdulla Yameen, his Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, MMPRC Managing Director Abdulla Ziyath and former MP Yousuf Naeem have been convicted and sentenced so far.

Not a single penny has been recovered in the MMPRC case. I now guess the President has to hold some interest. I have no such obligation. I will make sure everyone involved in prosecuted. That is something we will never stop. -- Nasheed

Yameen was convicted of accepting bribes and money laundering and sentenced to 11-years in prison and a fine of USD 5 million late last month. Yousuf Naeem was sentenced to three years in prison.

In addition, the money from 11 people involved in the case is being recovered, the President said at a press conference held late last month.

Nasheed said the MMPRC case had to be investigated to determine whether there was corruption in the Yameen administration. No investigation or prosecution was conducted and the only thing that can be seen are allegations, he said.

He said he was not okay with government corruption, citing the issue of ventilators being brought to treat people in critical condition during the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that illegal profits were made from the instruments brought in during the most difficult times of the pandemic.

Nasheed questioned what to do when allegations of corruption are not prosecuted. There are accusations against this government to that extent and they have not been investigated either, he said.

No contact with President Solih

Nasheed in his press conference today, also said there is no connection with President Solih and they have not been in touch for more than a year.

He said that the President called him only once while he was in Germany for treatment after the 6 May, 2021 attempted assassination bombing and once during his stay in the UK.