Ventilator Corruption: Ameen and eight others will not be charged!

Health Minister of Maldives Abdullah Ameen | Photo: President's Office

Malé, Maldives – Anti Corruption Commission of Maldives (ACC) has decided to file the corruption case concerning the purchase of ventilators during the Covid-19 pandemic, which involved former Health Minister Abdullah Ameen and eight others.

The decision was finally made after the Prosecutor General’s Office (PG) repeatedly sent the case back to ACC. Prior to this, the Commission had sent the case to the PG Office thrice after revision as requested by PG. However, it got sent back each time.

This time – the fourth time – however, the new ACC members were told by PG Office that out of the 11 people in question concerning the case, eight will not be prosecuted. Following this response, the ACC decided to file the case concerning these individuals. However, as PG Office is yet to determine the fate of the remaining three, ACC will not be filing their cases as of yet.

According to the PG Office, the case was repeatedly sent back to ACC due to insufficient evidence to prove the charges in court. It was further said that while a total of 12 accusations were made, most were administrative faults.

This was refuted by ACC, which claims that the case was forwarded to PG for prosecution after determining violations of the public finance legislations, and undue profits, through investigations.

In total, Ameen and 10 employees of the Health Ministry were either suspended or fired regarding the ventilator corruption case. The completed investigations by the ACC to date has provided no proof of a money trail connecting the 12 individuals to any profits from the ventilator corruption case.

While Maldives’ Ministry of Health paid MVR 30.91 million to Dubai’s Executors General Trading LLC contracting the company to supply 75 ventilators when the Covid-19 virus started spreading in the Maldives, only 15 ventilators were supplied by them to date. From the 15 they had sent, 5 had missing parts which has not been accepted by the government.