Maldives government must act on new details in corruption scandal

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Together with its national chapter in the Maldives, the global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International urges President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih not to let political position or status become a ticket to impunity for those involved in grand corruption. Solih’s recently elected government should fulfil its campaign pledge of zero tolerance for corruption by holding to account all those implicated in the MMPRC scandal. The process should not end with today's arrest of former president Abdulla Yameen.

Named after the parastatal Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation, which gave out undervalued leases on islands and reefs in return for alleged bribes and kickbacks, the MMPRC scheme was first exposed in investigations by Al Jazeera in 2016, then detailed island-by-island by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in 2018.

On 14 February 2019, the Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) published a list of 155 individuals and companies and the amounts each had received from a private bank used as a conduit for illicit payments. The main account belonged to the music group Scores of Flair, comprised of the former tourism minister and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor and his friends. Those named as receiving payments include politicians from across the political spectrum.

“We’ve always known that the MMPRC corruption scandal is too large a crime to have been carried out only by a few individuals,” said Mariyam Shiuna, executive director of Transparency Maldives. “The ACC list is a sad confirmation of the extent to which powerful people in the Maldives have abused their positions, and the extent to which grand corruption has played a role in luxury tourism development in the Maldives. The state must now act to ensure that all those who have abused their authority are held accountable.”

Specifically, Transparency Maldives urges that the heads of Maldives Monetary Authority, Bank of Maldives, Maldives Islamic Bank and the board members of MMPRC should be investigated. Those alleged to be complicit should be immediately prosecuted in a fair trial to determine the truth.

The government should also strengthen the country’s banking system to make it less susceptible to abuse for corrupt purposes, according to Transparency Maldives. Legal action to recover money and property stolen from the public should also start immediately.

Transparency International further notes that the ACC list indicates that transfers of US dollars were made into accounts in United States banks, and therefore urges the Maldives government to request the assistance of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Kleptocracy Unit to investigate these payments.


For any press enquiries please contact

E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666

Latest

Support Transparency International

Asylum for Sale: Refugees say some U.N. workers demand bribes for resettlement

A 7-month investigation found reports of UN staff members exploiting refugees desperate for a safe home in a new country. By Journalists for Transparency reporter Sally Hayden.

Four ways the G20 can take the lead on anti-corruption

The globalisation of world trade and finance has been accompanied by an internationalisation of corruption. The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group therefore has the potential to be a very important partner in the fight for a more just world.

Venezuela: Se necesitan instituciones sólidas para abordar la delincuencia organizada

La corrupción en las más altas esferas del Gobierno venezolano ha causado inestabilidad social y económica extrema y ha debilitado a las instituciones estatales que deberían proteger a la ciudadanía. Las redes de delincuencia organizada actúan con impunidad en todo el país.

Venezuela: Strong institutions needed to address organised crime

Corruption in the top echelons of the Venezuelan government has led to extreme instability and weak state institutions, and allows organised crime networks to act with impunity all across the country.

The trillion dollar question: the IMF and anti-corruption one year on

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made public commitments and adopted a new framework to address corruption - we check how the IMF is progressing with this one year later.

Three years after the Panama Papers: progress on horizon

The explosive Pulitzer Prize-winning global media project known as the "Panama Papers" turned three years old, and there are many reasons to celebrate.

Call for papers: the Global Asset Registry workshop – Paris, July 1-2

ICRICT, the World Inequality Lab project, Tax Justice Network, and Transparency International are co-hosting a workshop to develop the framework for a Global Asset Registry in Paris on July 1-2. The organisers wish to invite original, high-quality papers for presentation.

Troika Laundromat signals a different kind of financial crisis

The Troika Laundromat investigation shines a spotlight on a cast of new and familiar characters in the ongoing saga surrounding flows of dirty money through the world’s financial system.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media