Health Ministry was told to axe ventilator contract and recover money through arbitration in October 2020

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer alongside Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed during MDP's "Rahvehi Fathis" campaign | Photo: MDP

Malé, Maldives – Finance Ministry of Maldives has given the directive to Health Ministry to annul the agreement made between the ministry and Dubai’s Executors General Trading LLC for the purchase of 75 ventilators last year and to recover the payments made to Dubai’s Executors General Trading LLC Through arbitration.

According to local media ‘Mihaaru’, an official from Finance Ministry had told that Ministry of Health was given the instructions on October 2020. While Dubai’s Executors General Trading LLC was contracted to supply 75 ventilators when the Covid-19 virus started spreading in the Maldives, only 15 ventilators had been supplied by them till date. From the 15 they had sent, 5 had missing parts which has not been accepted by the government.

Health Minister of Maldives, Ahmed Naseem had told on March 6, 2021 that the Ministry was still not sure of an exact date for when the ventilators will arrive and that from the actions of the Dubai company, it does not seem like they would be sending the remaining 60 ventilators to Maldives.

The previous Health Minister, Abdullah Ameen resigned from office was lead to by a series of events, stating from an audit conducted by the Auditor General’s Office, which suggested foul play in all three contracts awarded by the Minister of Health, to procure 142 ventilators for the state. 

This included of the agreement 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.

While Minister Ameen later resigned due to the scandal, Deputy Minister Nishaama Mohamed, and senior officials of the Ministry were implicated in the scandal. After the audit report, the ACC conducted an investigation into the scandal and requested charges against the 11 implicated. However, the PG had rejected the case from being sent to court twice stating that charges could not be brought forward in the case due to insufficient evidence.