Enough evidence at present, money trail not necessary to prosecute: ACC

Fathimath Anoola, VP of ACC | Photo: Sun

Male’, Maldives —Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has stated that they are aware of which accounts the money from the ventilator corruption case and that charges can now be raised against the suspects with all elements completed.

While the Prosecutor General, Hussain Shameem had earlier stated that although the ventilator case was sent to the PG Office twice for prosecution, the case did not contain enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution. With this, PG also stated that the information received from the investigation does not contain a money trail leading to suspects.

The Vice President of ACC, Fathimath Anoola opposed PG’s statement and mentioned that the case sent to the PGO was regarding raising charges against those who had taken advantage of their position for profit. Anoola stated that this is not the first time ACC had sent the case to the PGO and that the ACC had investigated and sent multiple cases related to the ventilator for prosecution to the PGO office previously as well.

Individuals who are not supposed to profit have received it due to the actions of government officials. We requested to prosecute this crime. We have established a money trail to the two companies in Dubai.

Fathimath Anoola, Vice President of ACC

Anoola stated that the PG wants to prosecute through a money trail i.e. to find out where the money had gone and as the ACC had not yet investigated whether the money had gone to a state official or another individual, PGO had decided to not prosecute the case.

Establish the money trial for me and I will be more than happy to prosecute. Prosecution rely on the quality of the investigation and info presented to us.

PG Shameem on Twitter

Anoola declared that this stance of the PGO is absolutely wrong and to charge state officials for taking undue advantage of their positions, the Commission does not have to prove that the individual or a close member had received any benefits from the act.

Although knowing who received benefits from the act will help the Commission find out what happened to the money, ACC stated that not knowing the aforementioned things is not an obstacle in prosecuting the suspected state official.

Anoola stated that there are previous cases where government officials were charged for just releasing a document and in the ventilator case PG is aware of which account the money had gone to and that charges can be raised against those who are guilty.

The issue was investigated by Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) after an audit by the Auditor General’s Office suggested foul play in all three contracts awarded by the Ministry of Health, to procure 142 ventilators for the state. These include the agreements made between Executors General Trading LLC for 75 ventilators, MedTech Maldives Pvt Ltd for 50 ventilators and with Naadu Pvt Ltd to acquire 24 ventilators, out of which the agreement with Executors General which became the most controversial of all.

ACC President Mariyam Shiuna stated that the ACC believes there are individuals that should be held accountable for the ventilator corruption case, adding that ACC’s investigation has revealed enough evidence of their offenses and the commission has no plans to be lenient.