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MMPRC scandal: MVR 1.3 mln embezzled

Feb 15, 2019

Male (Maldives) Feb 15: The Anti-Corruption Commission of Maldives (ACC) has revealed the details of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) scandal, where over MVR 1.3 billion of state funds were embezzled.
ACC revealed their detailed report on Monday, after having kept the details disclosed for a long time.
The 776 page report was published on the ACC website, which included details of the company used to move around the funds, 'SOF Private Limited', and persons and businesses who conducted business with said company. It also included several statements given to ACC by individuals linked to the scandal.
During the ACC investigation, the commission looked into 57 islands leased by MMPRC, which revealed that the funds received as acquisition costs of the islands were embezzled. While the state was supposed to receive USD 77 million, only USD 12 million was received by the state. Part of the USD 12 million was also deposited into SOF account.
After depositing the funds into SOF account, the funds were then transferred to 166 different accounts. In their report, AC mentioned the names of the account holders, which includes former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof and Vilifushi MP RIyaz Rasheed.
The official audit report into the MMPRC scandal had revealed that over USD79 million had been embezzled through the state tourism promotion company.
Al Jazeera cited a confidential letter sent the country's anti-money laundering body to the police saying the then president received the money in two installments to a private bank account at the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB).
The document from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an agency under the Maldives' central bank, was dated September 13 and was addressed to the then acting police commissioner Abdulla Nawaz.
In the letter, the FIU said a third party deposited USD648,508 in hard currency into the president's account on September 5. Another USD810,635 was deposited to the same account on September 10.
The whole amount was later withdrawn in hard currency, Al Jazeera said referring to the letter.
The former president continues to deny the allegations insisting that he had done nothing wrong.
Source: avas.mv