Mundhu summoned to Police regarding leaked letter

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Opposition party People’s National Congress (PNC) Vice President Mohamed Hussain Shareef (Mundhu) | Photo: Avas

Male’, Maldives – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Opposition party People’s National Congress (PNC) Vice President Mohamed Hussain Shareef (Mundhu) has been summoned to Maldives Police Service (MPS), after the a letter regarding the mortgage of Dharumavantha Hospital (DH) was leaked.

The letter was a confidential sent by the Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer to the President’s Office, regarding the sukuk of the government’s main hospital- Dharumavantha Hospital.

A letter that circulated back in November, revealed that efforts to mortgage DH for a bond of USD 300 million was underway, with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICDC).

The letter also included a request by Minister Ameer, who asked the president to request Male’ City council to transfer ownership of DH to the Ministry of Finance, as such bonds can only be issued from Finance Ministry assets.

This was followed by criticism from the opposition, who described the proposal as desperate and claimed that the government is trying to sell the hospital to outsiders.

The said letter was shared on Mundhu’s Facebook, who said he got it from an opposition coalition Facebook group. He noted that he posted it after fact checking.

He added that he revealed this to Police when he was first summoned to the station. According to Mundhu, the Police also requested to see his phone during the initial summon- which he declined as there were sensitive campaign related information on his device.

He also said that while he is being summoned today to sign a statement from his last visit to Police, he believes they will attempt to confiscate his phone yet again.

Mundhu suspects this investigation is being conducted at Minister Ameer’s request, and said that he is confident that he or the initial leaker cannot be charged for this due to whistleblower and right to information laws in the Constitution.

While the Ministry of Finance has not denied the contents of the letter, they have however, released a statement explaining that the mortgage method involved- sukuk, does not mean the government is ‘selling’ the hospital, which was the claim by the opposition.

They announced that they are not ‘selling’ DH building, but rather proceeding with a re-transfer of the beneficial ownership of the building to a 100 percent government owned SPV, for the issuance of a USD300 million Bond.

The USD 300 Million sukuk is a budgeted revenue stream to bring in much needed cash flow for the government to finance the 2021 budget and that it is an Islamic Financing Instrument planned for issue after discussions with notable international experts.