MMPRC Corruption: Naseed’s case to be submitted to authorities

Maldives former president Mohamed Nasheed speaks during an interview with Reuters in Colombo, Sri Lanka March 29, 2017 | Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte

Male’, Maldives – The opposition coalition has announced that they were preparing to submit the case of Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed benefiting from the ill gains of the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption scandal.

The opposition says that they decided to submit this case based on the allegations of the former Deputy Chair of the Disciplinary Committee of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Shuaib Ali against Speaker Nasheed. Shuaib has said that Speaker Nasheed was the “biggest beneficiary” of the Maldives Media and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption scandal in a tweet he posted on November 1, 2020.

He also accused that MDP had taken the ill gotten gains of the MMPRC corruption scandal during major votes taken in the parliament during the last administration. Shuaib also stated that MDP members voted for the changes to the constitution such as land ownership bill, change of age limitation for presidency and also the no-confidence votes against the former Vice President Dr. Jameel under the order of the Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

In a press conference held by the opposition coalitions lawyers team this evening, Mohamed Shaheed said that they had decided to submit the case based on the remarks of Shuaib Ali to the Corruption and Asset Recovery Commission, Maldives Police Service and also to the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).

Shaheed also said that the opposition hopes that this case would be investigated during this administration. He also said that the only actions taken against the beneficiaries of the MMPRC case was during the last administration and that since the current administration had came to power, nothing was being done to bring the people involved in the case in front of justice. He also said that the current administration had changed the route of the case and are steering it to be used as a political tool.

Although the oppossition is filing the case with the authorities, the Speaker of Parliament and Former President, Mohamed Nasheed has said that he did not get any money from the MMPRC Scandal. Even though Speaker Nasheed has said this, with Shuaib’s accusations on him, people have been questioning how Speaker Nasheed was able to go to the UK while he was under arrest and take asylum there during the previous administration.

People speculate that this could not have been done without an under the table deal between the politicians as the timing of it aligned with some major votes which were taken in the parliament, to which MDP members also voted for.

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).