Male’, Maldives – Youth Minister, Ahmed Mahloof stated last night that he will not resign from his position even if he is prosecuted, alleging that a group of politicians are conspiring to remove him from his position.
While a case against Minister Mahloof has been sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) under the MMPRC major corruption scandal, Minister Mahloof earlier stated that if an investigation is carried out without any bias against him then he would not remain in his position as a minister for even a single day.
Minister Mahloof stated that he now believes that the PGO is handling his case differently compared to other MMPRC cases. Noting that the committee in PGO that is involved in prosecution of MMPRC cases had repeatedly stated that he cannot be charged in the case, Minister Mahloof stated that his case was taken from that committee.
Minister Mahloof also stated that according to Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, his case would be taking an average of six days to file charges, however, noted that it has been over 60 days since the case has been sent to the PGO.
Minister Mahloof alleged that the aforementioned incidents are evidence that the case is being influenced by a group of politicians and stated that he refused to play into their hands by voluntarily resigning from his post.
I know very well this is being orchestrated by a group of politicians. I don’t want to indulge the people who orchestrated something as serious as this for political gain. I’ll be doing what they want if I resign.Youth Minister, Ahmed Mahloof
As the President will have a final say in Minister Mahloof’s service as a Minister, Minister Mahloof stated that he intends to share this issue with the President.
When questioned about Mahloof’s case at the latest press conference, PG Shameem stated that PGO is currently focused on prosecuting the suspects that were involved in the terror attack and anticipated that a decision on Mahloof’s case will be made this week. PG Shameem noted that it usually takes about six days to send a case to the court, however, stated that at times, the duration tends to extend due to different reasons.
While Minister Mahloof has been confirmed to be included in the list of those involved in the MMPRC scandal, the Joint Committee report made in collaboration with the National Security Services committee (commonly known as 241 committee) and Judiciary committee regarding the major MMPRC corruption case has been passed to terminate the employees who are working in state positions if they are accused of being a part of the MMPRC corruption.
According to the investigation carried out by Maldives Police Service, Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery and Anti Corruption Commission over the MMPRC corruption, Mahloof had taken a bribe of USD 33,000 to vote for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill and also to remain in Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
In addition to this, the joint investigation also showed that the investigation was able to link the text messages exchanged between Mahloof and Former Vice President of Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb (Bro) and the money deposited by SOF cheque of USD 33,000 to Mahloof to the vote taken in parliament as a bribe.
Mahloof, in his defence, says that he was a PPM Council member at the time of the vote of SEZ bill and voted as per the three-line whip set out for the vote by the party.
It was also revealed that Mahloof had given forged documents to Anti-Corruption Commission in an attempt to show that he had done a legitimate transaction to purchase dollars from SOF.
On the contrary, Mahloof accused that some names from the list had been removed due to political influence before being published and that he was being treated unfairly in the investigation.