Ziyath sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment

Former Managing Director of MMPRC, Abdullah Ziyath | Photo: Mihaaru

Male’, Maldives – Former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath has been sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment.

The state charged Ziyath with 32 charges for the embezzlement of money by the sale of islands and lagoons. The former Managing Director alone is accused of being involved in the embezzlement of USD 50.7 million (MVR 781 million) of the total potential revenue loss of the graft, which stands at MVR 4 billion.

On November 23, Ziyath confessed to all 32 corruption charges regarding the MMPRC embezzlement scandal under a plea bargain with the government in which his sentence is to be reduced.

The Penal Code states that, in the sentencing of a convict with more than one charge, the most serious crime will receive the longest possible sentence while the penalties for the remaining offences would be reduced in a particular order. As per Article 1006 of the Penal Code, Ziyath’s 12th charge carries a one day sentence and he will not receive any punishment for the 20 charges following it.

Ziyath is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence after being convicted of a corruption charge in 2016 in which he embezzled the money received after the sale of Lh.Maabinhura. He has now served 5 years of the total sentence.

The MMPRC scandal which is believed to be the largest corruption case recorded in Maldives’ history involving the embezzlement of MVR 4 billion in state funds, which were acquired through leasing islands and lagoons for tourism development and aqquired by private company, SOF Pvt Ltd.