MMPRC Corruption: Charges against Athif will not be dismissed

Former head of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), Athif Shakoor, who now stands trial for charges raised against him in connection with the MMPRC grand corruption | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – The Criminal Court of Maldives, on Sunday, decided that the charges against former head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Athif Shakoor, will not be dismissed.

Athif is charged with violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act of Maldives, for failing to flag and report to authorities, multiple suspicious transactions that took place now known to be in connection with the MMPRC grand corruption scandal.

During the hearing held on Sunday, the Criminal Court’s presiding Chief Judge reflected on the evidence provided to the court based on civil standards, and declared that the case can go forward.

Both the state and the defendant have a 10 day period to submit preliminary documents to the court, and a new hearing has been scheduled for the 28th of this month.

Initial charges were raised against Athif after an investigative report by the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) into the MMPRC graft revealed that Athif had at the time decided against forwarding a suspicious transaction report received by the FIU from Bank of Maldives (BML) to the Police, which allowed MMPRC’s funds to be deposited into the account of a private company known as SoF.

While the ACC’s investigation report stated “clearly” that Athif made the decision to not inform authorities of the suspicious transactions, Athif has since confessed to this during ACC’s investigation as well.

If convicted, Athif faces a fine between MVR 10,000 and MVR 500,000 or a prison sentence between one year and 10 years.