Yameen taken to Maafushi jail to serve his 11 year sentence

Former President Abdulla Yameen being taken to Maafushi jail on December 25, 2022 to serve his sentence in the V. Aarah case. | Photo: Abdullah Riza

Malé, Maldives – Former President Abdullah Yameen has been taken to Maafushi jail to serve his sentence of 11 years for money laundering and bribery in connection to V. Aarah.

The Criminal Court of Maldives ruled yesterday that Yameen was convicted of bribery and money laundering.

Yameen was sentenced to four years in prison for accepting a bribe. He was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to seven years in prison and fined USD 5 million to be paid within six months. Therefore, Yameen will serve a total of 11 years in jail.

Prosecution charged 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)

Yousuf Naeem was also sentenced to three years in jail after being convicted of bribery.

The charges have now closed Yameen’s chances of contesting next year’s presidential election. The opposition said it would appeal the verdict in the High Court.

The prosecutor’s office had alleged that Yameen and Yusuf Naeem had laundered USD 1 million in bribes using the then President’s position in the lease transaction to develop a tourist resort through the Ministry of Tourism and the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

The Prosecution had previously told that on September 15, 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 February 22, 2016. USD 1,295,000 was then transferred to an MIB account from the BML account almost a year later on February 21, 2017.

A month later on March 14, 2017 USD 3,413,230 was then transferred to a general investment account at the same bank, MIB, for 36 months.