Criminal Court releases Sealife Ammati from remand custody

Interpol Red Notice for Managing Director of SeaLife Global, Ahmed Moosa (Ammati) | Photo: Interpol

Malé, Maldives – The Criminal Court of Maldives on Sunday released Managing Director of Sealife Ahmed Moosa (Ammati) from custody with conditions.

The presiding judge closed the hearing stating that the conditions for his release will be communicated.

While this is the third time Ahmed Moosa was released from remand custody by the Criminal Court, previously, the suspect was remanded back into custody when the prosecution appealed the release at the High Court.

Ahmed Moosa was extradited to the Maldives from Sri Lanka via Interpol Red notice on 24 March 2021 by Maldives Police after he disappeared to Sri Lanka previously.

Ahmed Moosa is charged with 42 counts of criminal offences, with up to 65 years of imprisonment if convicted. The prosecutors are charging Ahmed Moosa under articles of the Maldives Penal Code (Law No. 6/2014),

  • Section 214, Theft of Services – 12 counts (under Subsection B) and 25 other charges.
  • Section 215, Theft by Failure to Deliver Funds Entrusted (under Subsection A and B)
  • Section 210, Theft, misrepresentation, Deception, Extortion and Disposition (under Subsection B) – 5 counts.

The SeaLife housing fraud case, which was the subject of the biggest class-action lawsuit in Maldivian history at the time, announced a 3,000 apartment housing complex in 2015 after being contracted by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in 2014, and had gotten 280 tenants to pay a booking fee of MVR 50,000 and more per tenant.

However, the complex was never built and none of the tenants were reimbursed at the time, of the more than MVR 14 million, taken as down payment. 203 tenants of the SeaLife housing complex sued SeaLife Global, HDC and the Ministry of Economic Development.

After the lawsuit was filed, the Housing Development Corporation and the incumbent government came to an agreement with the victims for a settlement of MVR 45 million and allocation of flats under a government housing scheme.