MMPRC Corruption: Transparency Maldives condemns non-prosecution agreement with SOF

Mohamed Allam 'Moho' Latheef, Mohamed 'Oitte' Hussain and Ahmed Ishfah Ali of SOF | Photo: Avas

Malé, Maldives – Transparency Maldives on Monday condemned the non-prosecution agreement made between the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) and Scores of Flair (SOF), a private company implicated in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption.

In their statement, Transparency Maldives stated that at the appeal hearing of former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom on 27 September 2021, the PGO revealed that management of SOF will not be prosecuted. Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem however refuted this on 28 September 2021 stating that he had not decided against pressing charges against SoF, revealing that a non-prosecution agreement was made with SoF before he assumed office, during former PG Aishath Bidham’s term.

Making a [non-prosecution] agreement with an entity who colluded in corruption at any time is alarming and [Transparency Maldives] condemns it.

Transparency Maldives Statement

The NGO also questioned the legitimacy of such an agreement under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act (Law No. 10/2014).

Transparency Maldives emphasized that the MMPRC Corruption “sold the Maldivian’s assets unjustly” including “multiple lagoons and islands” costing the nation MVR 3.4 billion, and entertaining the idea of non-prosecution agreements with those reliable is completely unacceptable for the organization.

None of the embezzled money has been recovered from SOF 8 years after the corruption was exposed.

Transparency Maldives Statement

Transparency Maldives also called on the government to publicly disclose information regarding the MMPRC Corruption Case to avoid and address misconceptions around the issue and urged the state to recover the embezzled assets.