Opposition files emergency motion to investigate ventilator case

Adam Shareef, MP of Maduvvari Constituency | Photo: Maldives Parliament

Male’, Maldives — An emergency motion has been filed to the parliament calling to do a proper complete investigation on the ventilator corruption case and to bring forward the people who were involved in the act.

The emergency motion was filed by the Maduhvvari constituency parliament member, Mohamed Shareef and was supported by 32 parliament members.

The ventilator case was exposed in April 2020, where 75 ventilators brought in by the Maldivian Health Ministry for their Covid-19 response plan was surrounded with much controversy. Following a joint investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Maldives Police Service, it was revealed that former Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen and 11 employees of the ministry were involved with the expenditure of over MVR 30 million in violation of the Public Finance Act.

ACC had forwarded 11 names, including that of Minister Ameen, to the Prosecutor General’s Office to be charged with corruption under part (a)(2) of section 511, part (a) of section 512, part (b) of section 513 and part (a)(1) of section 313 of the Penal Code of Maldives. However, PGO revealed that due to insufficient evidence they have taken the decision to not prosecute any of the 11 individuals and sent back the report regarding ventilator corruption back to ACC.

The emergency motion filed by Shareef stated that the decision of PGO to not prosecute the case was taken without considering the constitution and accused that the decision was influenced.

MP Shareef called on the government to properly investigate the ventilator corruption case and to bring forward the people who are included in this major corruption act.

While the PG had previously decided to uphold their earlier decision and not to go ahead with the prosecution stating that there was no new reason for changing PGs earlier stance on the case. They added that their review of the case submitted by ACC revealed no new elements that provide the basis for prosecuting the 11 individuals involved.

The ACC President Mariyam Shiuna stated last night 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.