Malé, Maldives – Former Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel has stated that he is surprised that even though Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Ahmed Mahloof has not been dismissed while has been accused of being a part of the MMPRC scandal.
This comes after the joint investigation carried out by Maldives Police Service, Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery and the Anti Corruption Commission regarding the MMPRC corruption has concluded their investigation on the Minister and has sent the case to the Prosecutor General to press charges against Mahloof.
Dr. Jameel, who has also been an advisor to Opposition party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), said in a tweet that section (f) of Article 115 of the Maldivian Constitution states that while appointing and dismissing Ministers is a Presidential power, he is surprised that Mahloof has been allowed to continue as a Minister while a request for his prosecution for a crime of such caliber has been made.
The MMPRC investigation reveals that Minister Mahloof received USD 33,000 when he was a Member of Parliament in 2014, to vote in favour of the special economic zone (SEZ) bill which was being debated in Parliament at the time.
Mahloof allegedly travelled directly from Malaysia to vote on the bill on the 27th of August 2014 and is said to have received USD 33,000 to his account through a cheque received from Scores of Flairs (SoF), the company used to funnel the funds from the state.
The commission noted that said that cross-examinations of the dates and text messages between Mahloof and then Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb following the vote, has led the commission to believe that Adeeb had given the USD 33,000 to Mahloof as a bribe.
Mahloof submitted “payment received” receipts as well as a letter claiming that he had transferred the sum in Maldivian Rufiyaa to (SoF), to the ACC during their investigation, claiming that the interaction vas a valid currency exchange.
However, the commission stated that these documents do not prove a currency exchange transaction, adding that that the minister had attempted to mislead the investigation. Additional charges are being sought for this as well.