Yameen masterminded MMPRC scandal to payoff campaign debts: Nazim

Former MP of Dhiggaru Constituency and Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Nazim | Photo: adduLIVE

Malé, Maldives – Former MP of Dhiggaru Constituency and Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Nazim (Jangiya Nazim) has told that Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption scandal was masterminded by Former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom to payoff his campaign debts.

Giving testimony as a prosecutions witness in the criminal case against the former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom for money laundering and bribery in connection to V. Aarah, Nazim told the court that the former president was well aware of the acts of corruption made through MMPRC funds by Former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb and his allies.

Ahmed Nazim, who was one of former presidents closest friends until he was sentenced to 25 years in jail on corruption charges in April 2015, said that he informed former President Yameen of Ahmed Adeeb taking USD 5 million from an undisclosed party after giving cheques from MMPRC which consisted of acquisition fees for resort leases.

Nazim also told the court that accounts to which these funds were embezzled included those of businessmen from whom Adeeb and former President Yameen had taken money for the 2013 presidential election campaign. He also revealed that he informed former President Yameen of this case on April 28, 2014 and gave the detailed documents the following day.

I told that day to (President) Yameen that its clear to me now, this (MMPRC corruption) is being carried out to pay back your campaign debts. If the necessary action was taken that day the USD 70 million corruption scandal could have been prevented

Former MP of Dhiggaru Constituency, Ahmed Nazim (Jangiya Nazim) told the Criminal Court in August 9, 2022

Supreme Court of Maldives nullified the 25-year jail sentence on former Parliament Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim in December 2018, the cases involved the use of “paper companies” to win bids for the procurement of 220 harbor lights, sound systems for mosques and an additional 15,000 flags.

Nazim told the court yesterday that he no longer has any relationship with the former president following his sentencing in 2015 and told the court that a life-sentence wouldn’t have been given to him without the presidents knowledge. Nazim was repeatedly asked by the defense if he has any grudges against the former president to give the testimony in court which he denied.

After years in self-exile, Nazim broke his silence in late 2018 after the presidential election with a detailed statement backing Adeeb’s insistence that he was acting on the president’s orders and told local media that he was “waiting for the institutions and courts to become independent” to reveal further “critical evidence” about Yameen’s involvement.

Prosecution is charging former President Yameen with money laundering and acceptance of a bribe of USD 1 million from former MP of Felidhoo Constituency Yusuf Naeem. The charges for both parties are as follows.

  • Former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom – Money laundering under Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act, 2014 (Act No. 10 of 2014) and acceptance of a bribe under Chapter 510(a)(d) of the Maldives Penal Code (Law No. 6/2014)
  • Former MP of Felidhoo Constituency Yusuf Naeem – Bribery under Chapter 510(b)(d) of the Maldives Penal Code (Law No. 6/2014)

The Prosecution detailed a timeline of the alleged events, stating that on 15 September 2015 Yusuf Naeem handed over a check of USD 1 million which was deposited to ex President Yameen’s HSBC account on the following day, 16 September 2015.

President Yameen allegedly transferred USD 1,001,409 from the HSBC account to his BML account on 22 February 2016. USD 1,295,000 was then transferred to an MIB account from the BML account almost a year later on 21 February 2017.