State Minister Dr. Shah’s suspension nullified

Dr. Shah Mahir | Photo: Health Ministry

Male’, Maldives – The President’s Officer has nullified the suspension State Minister of Health, Dr. Shah Mahir, effective Thursday, notifying him to resume his duties starting Sunday.

The reversal of Dr. Shah’s suspension came after he got cleared of foul play following the investigation carried out by the Anti Corruption Commission of Maldives (ACC). He was initially accused of misusing his official capacity as State Minister to extend the contract duration of two local companies, Naadu Pvt Ltd and MedTech Pvt Ltd, which were contracted to supply ventilators to the state, and thereby obtaining unfair advantages in the process.

The issue came up following an audit conducted by the Auditor General’s Office, which revealed misconduct and possible acts of corruption within the Ministry of Health. This resulted in all members of the bid committee of the Ministry getting suspended by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who also called on a joint investigation by ACC and Maldives Police Service. However, Dr. Shah maintained his innocence throughout the process.

After ACC concluded its investigation which included the case of contracting Executor General’s to procure 75 ventilators for the state, the Commission moved for charges to be raised against several Health Ministry officials including the Minister of Health Abdullah Ameen, several Deputy Ministers, Directors and other members of the bid committee. However, Dr. Shah was not named among them.

Revealing details of the investigation, ACC reported that it is likely that the extension of the contract period was due to the borders of Maldives being closed, as duration of other work by the Ministry have also been found to have been extended. Hence no foul play was determined regarding the matter.

Explaining further findings of the investigation, ACC revealed that the matter of Executor’s General was investigated as an urgent case and that the investigative team was assisted by Maldives Police Service as well. It was further noted that a total of 1,600 documents, 500 email backups and 36 testimonials were collected and analyzed for the purpose of this investigation.