Cannot get back ventilator money from a paper company: Dr Jameel

Former VP Dr. Mohamed Jameel | Photo: Edition

Malé, Maldives – Former Vice President of the Maldives Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has taken a jab at the current government, saying that money paid for the procurement of ventilators involved in the infamous ‘ventilator corruption scandal’ in the Maldives, cannot be retrieved from a paper company.

He said this in a tweet he sent out on Thursday morning, in which he described the transaction in the matter to be false, and to have been the subsequent result of multiple crimes. He further went on to question why the financial status of those involved cannot be looked into, and reminded the government that the direction of the corruption cannot be diverted with talks of arbitration.

This comes after the government announced on Wednesday that the Maldives has decided to go to international arbitration to recover the money spent on purchasing ventilators – equipment which the country is yet to receive.

The Ministry of Health has paid MVR 30.91 million to Dubai’s Executors General Trading LLC for the purchase of 75 ventilators last year and received only 15 ventilators, out of which, some had important equipment missing.

While the audit conducted by the Auditor General’s Office suggested foul play in all three contracts awarded by the Minister of Health to procure 142 ventilators for the state, which included 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, the agreement with Executors General 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.