Malé, Maldives – Tourism Ministry today announced that the current owner of R. Fuggiri island has applied to transfer their rights to another party despite the island being the centre of one money laundering and bribery case against ex-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
Parties who wish to transfer rights to a Maldivian island must first apply to the Ministry of Tourism, upon which the Ministry will announce for any debts involving the island. The Ministry gazetted the announcement regarding R. Fuggiri indicating the sale.
While the Maldivian authorities have not disclosed the lessie of the island, according to the Pandora Papers, island of Fuggiri was leased without tender in September 2015 for $1.55 million to a Dubai-based company, Classic Citi Island Holdings Ltd.
OCCRP reports that “Classic Citi was a partnership involving the family business of Avinash Bhosale, an influential developer from the western Indian city of Pune, and another businessman, Amit Kumar Gandhi, who works in logistics.”
Prosecutors currently allege that Yameen received a bribe of more than $1.1 million in exchange for the Fuggiri lease. The alleged bribe was paid by “an anonymous British Virgin Islands company, A&A Holdings Group Ltd, to an associate of the former president, then redirected to him.” The money was allegedly laundered through Sun Construction and Engineering Pvt. Ltd. and Sun Investment Pvt. Ltd.