MDP leadership members implicated in MMPRC case!

Minister at the President’s Office And Vice President of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Mohamed Shifaz (Shippe) seen with Hithadhoo north constituency MP and 241 committee chairperson, Mohamed Aslam | Photo: MDP

Malé, Maldives – Leaked documents of  Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption case investigation has revealed that Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leaders have been implicated in the case.

According to leaked documents on social media, Chairperson of MDP, Hassan Latheef, Vice President of MDP, Mohamed Shifaz and Parliamentary Group leader, Ali Azim have taken money from the MMPRC case for various political reasons.

The leaked documents which include chat logs between Ali Azim and Former Vice President Adeeb who was well known as “Bro” was the most influential minister during the previous administration who rose within the political ranks to be Vice President of the Maldives after an orchestrated no confidence vote of the then Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed who is now again back in the opposition PPM as an advisor.

Adeeb was accused of using state funds which he and his close allies embezzled which he used to bribe politicians, judges and others in high positions in different institutions when he was in the government and he was also well known for funding local gangs.

From the chat logs, it was revealed that MVR 1 million was delivered to Ali Azim at his house by Mohamed Hussain (Oittey) who was a close accomplice of Adeeb (Bro) in August 2015. It also revealed that from the forensic analysis of Adeeb’s mobile phone conversations, money from MMPRC case was given to Ali Azim in order for Adeeb to receive information of MDP parliamentary group on major votes at parliament and to bribe other parliamentarians.

Due to allegations of being named on the MMPRC corruption list investigated by the 241 committee, Ali Azim has been removed from the 241 committee and he says that so far the Asset Recovery Commission nor the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has questioned him regarding the matter. He also accused the leaked documents to be fake.

While Chairperson of MDP and the MP for West Henveiru, Hassan Latheef was voted in as the Committee Vice-Chair instead of MP Azim during the Committee meeting, Hassan Latheef has also been revealed to have received MMPRC corruption money from Adeeb. According to the leaked documents, Hassan Latheef received MVR 5 million to carry out the activities of Maldives United Opposition (MUO) which was the main opposition movement carried out in Maldives lead by MDP during the former administration.

In addition to this, MDP Vice President and Minister of Presidents Office, Mohamed Shifaz also received MVR 2 million from MMPRC money by Adeeb to carry out protests and rallies according to the leaked documents.

These leaked documents comes while Parliament of Maldives announced that Corruption and Asset Recovery Commission has sent the list of those who received money from Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption scandal on May 6, 2021.

In an announcement released by the parliament, it was revealed that Prosecutor General (PG) Office, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Asset Recovery Commission and the Police had sent the information requested by MP Hassan Latheef. 

MP Hassan Latheef had requested Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed to request the institutions to get the information claiming that Parliament Committee on National Safety (241 Committee) chair MP Mohamed Aslam has not been proactive in trying to find information on the MMPRC corruption scandal. 

The announcement stated that the list had names of people suspected of benefiting from the largest corruption scandal in the country and that people who used to work and some who are still working in the security forces, judiciary, independent institutions and as parliamentarians were implicated in the scandal. 

It also revealed that people who held or are still holding government positions such as state ministers and ministers have also been implicated from the list sent by Corruption and Asset Recovery Commission to the parliament. 

The list of those implicated in the MMPRC corruption scandal has been sent to parliament while Speaker Nasheed had told in an earlier parliament sitting that he would do anything to ensure that the investigation gets completed even if parliamentarians and ministers are implicated. 

Speaker Nasheed also added that over 270 peoples names had been identified as those who had received the money from MMPRC scandal in one way or the other and that all of them would be tried at court. He also added that those who benefited from over USD 70 million stolen from the state included members of parliament, ministers and other senior officials in various institutions in Maldives. 

He also told that a detailed report with the money trail details and other proof had been sent to the relevant government commission and that he has no double that the government would take the necessary actions against all of them. 

Speaker Nasheed’s remarks on the subject in parliament came while MDP had passed not to allow anyone who had been implicated in the grand scandals to run for their internal elections. 

In the national steering committee meeting held on April 24, 2021 in Malé City, MP for Maafannu central constituency, Ibrahim Rasheed (Bondey) submitted a decree which stated that people competing for the parties national council must have certain requirements to meet. 

MP Bondey specifically had stated that those who have been implicated in the MVR 3.4 billion MMPRC grand scanda, those who had their names sent to various investigative authorities by Anti Corruption Commission regarding ongoing investigations and those who have been accused in criminal acts by Presidential Commission on Unresolved Murders and Enforced Disappearances cannot compete for the national council. 

In addition to this, people who have been accused of rape and other sexual abuse cases also cannot compete in the party’s internal elections. The national steering committee had also decided that people who have joined the party less than a year ago also cannot compete. 

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had announced to hold the party’s National Council elections of May 29, 2021. The party stated that only members registered to the constituencies would be eligible to vote for administrative committees of the constituencies election and provincial elections. 

MDP also added that only those who were registered as members until April 18, 2021 would be eligible to vote and that membership applications till May 29, 2021 will be put on a halt.

While MDP members including MDP leadership members have started to campaign for the internal elections of the party, Speaker of Parliament and President of MDP, Mohamed Nasheed had informed that he has interest to become Prime Minister, which is expected to heat up the MDP internal election campaigns.