Malé, Maldives – Fraud charges raised against Ahmed Moosa (Ammati), Managing Director of Sea Life Global – a company that duped 280 tenants into paying millions in booking fees of an apartment complex which was never built – will not be dismissed, ruled the Criminal Court yesterday.
A preliminary request made by Ammati’s defence claimed that the law does not allow for Ammati to be tried as an individual when the case is against Sea Life company, citing Supreme Court rulings on lifting the corporate veil on such matters.
Pertaining to this, the Criminal Court on Sunday ruled that such requests cannot be decided upon without looking into the topic further, and also dismissed Ammati’s requests to throw out the charges all together.
While Ammati currently faces 42 counts of fraud, he is currently out on bail on predetermined conditions, after being held in remand for a long period of time.
Ammati, who fled the Maldives and was on the run for a long time, was finally extradited to the Maldives during mid-February of 2021 in Sri Lanka, after having an Interpol Red Notice out in his name.
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, of which HDC initially estimated that the cost of compensation by HDC to the tenants which came forward, would exceed MVR 23 million.