Male’, Maldives – Former Vice President of Maldives Ahmed Adeeb, who is currently standing trial for his part in embezzling funds from Maldives Media and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has claimed that all former presidents of Maldives and political parties have received shares of the embezzled funds.
Speaking at the preliminary hearings at the Criminal Court of Maldives, where he faces seven charges all together, Adeeb said that all those who took part in the criminal activity, including him, must be brought to justice. In this regard, he named his accomplices as former presidents, parliament members, management of independent commissions as well as all political parties.
He further said that those who received the embezzled funds have since started businesses and are in the process of building up their empires. He said that he hopes that it is not only him who will be brought to justice among them all.
Adeeb went on to say that the MMPRC embezzlement was a grand scheme of the former administration and that the funds which were received were used to sway the votes taken in independent commissions, the judiciary and even in the then parliament, among other causes.
He named the mastermind of the entire scheme as former President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Qayyoom, revealing the Yameen had even instructed on how to allocate islands and utilize funds.
Highlighting that the former administration had not put in enough effort into investigating the matter, Adeeb said that he decided to come clean after observing that independent commissions have truly become independent with the new administration.
The MMPRC case, which surfaced in 2015, is the largest corruption scandal to rock the Maldives in history. Following initial investigations, the Auditor General’s Office disclosed that MVR 1.2 billion in state funds, acquired via island and lagoon leases, had been embezzled via the corporation, which later increased to MVR 1.4 billion after the investigation by Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
In today’s hearing, Adeeb confessed to all seven charges, and requested leniency, under the plea deal he has agreed to with the state.
The hearing ended with the announcement that a verdict would be declared on coming Monday.