The Criminal Court has sentenced a person to exile for three years and seven months, for the misappropriation of part of the funds provided by the government to be distributed to farmers who suffered losses in Dhaalu Meedhoo due to the tsunami.
The convict is Sharmeela Shareef of Oivaru, Dhaalu Meedhoo.
The Criminal Court ruling states that out of the funds provided by the government to the island office in relation to the losses suffered by farmers due to the tsunami, Sharmeela misappropriated part of the funds that were kept in her care; and that this had been proven through her statements and witness testimonies in court.
The court said that Sharmeela’s statements revealed that out of the MVR 266,888 handed over to her on 16 September 2009, she distributed MVR 89,572 to 49 households and kept the remaining MVR 177,316 in her desk drawer.
The ruling states that MVR 13,200 kept in Sharmeela’s care had gone missing by 17 September 2009, and that this was proven through her statements and witness testimonies in court.
It had also been proven that Sharmeela asked for help to open the drawer after she had trouble doing so, and efforts by the office to open the drawer revealed that it had not been damaged in any way and that both keys to the drawer were held by Sharmeela.
The ruling states that it could not be proven in court that a copy of the key to the drawer was held by anyone else. The court also noted that according to the Public Finance Act, money to be kept in the office temporarily should not be kept in any place other than the safe.