Maldives Gas MD’s money laundering case filed by Police

Managing Director of Maldive Gas Pvt Ltd Shazail Shiyam | Photo: RTV

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Police Service has revealed that they had filed the case of money laundering allegations brought up against the now-suspended Managing Director of Maldive Gas Private Limited, Shazail Shiyam.

According to police, the decision to file the case was taken as no evidence was found against Shazail. Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) forwarded the case to Maldives Police Service in December 2020.

Shazail was placed under suspension by the President’s Office on October 2019, after receiving several serious complaints that seem to fall under the administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance to Corruption’ policy. 

Speaking to local media outlet Mihaaru, Spokesperson of ACC Hassan Manik had previously stated that although the bribery charges against Shazail could not be proven, money laundering activities flagged during the earlier investigation were conveyed to the police for further inquiry. At present, the commission does not have the jurisdiction to investigate cases involving alleged money laundering.

Parliamentary Committee on State-Owned Enterprises also conducted an investigation of the charges against Shazail. In addition to the concerns pertaining to the managing director, ACC also highlighted and launched investigations into three issues in which corruption is suspected. 

This includes the suspicious transfer of money into the account of an employee, allegations of corruption during repair work carried out by Maldive Gas and allegations of corruption during the hiring process of an employee.

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has also begun investigations into the accusations that Maldives Gas was involved in a major corruption scheme regarding the supply of oxygen cylinders to the country.

The accusations against the company are directed at the Deputy Managing Director of the company Ikram Ali and sums up to MVR 16 million as of now, according to the State Owned Enterprises Committee of the Maldivian Parliament.

The corruption case was brought to parliament against Ali Ikram, who has been suspended following a sexual harassment case after a female employee lodged the case along with messaging history as proof. 

According to the SOE committee, the accusations of corruption is related to the purchase of 4,128 oxygen cylinders which were procured in 2020 during the spread of Covid-19 in Maldives. The SOE committee had revealed that Ikram had travelled to Singapore with a shareholder of the company which was given the contract and that his trip was paid for by the shareholder of PROBIZ which had won the contract. The committee also revealed that documents of the trip had been collected for further investigation. 

Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Gas Ali Ikram, who was suspended following sexual harassment case after a female employee had resigned in March 2021. He had resigned while the corruption case regarding the supply of oxygen cylinders to the country was filed at Anti Corruption Commission against him in addition to the sexual harassment case.