Parliament accepts amendment to criminalize unlawful enrichment

Fonadhoo MP Moosa Siraj. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament has accepted a proposed amendment to the Penal Code to criminalize disproportionate and unlawful enrichment.

The amendment to criminalize disproportionate enrichment of a civil servant or a former civil servant was proposed by MP for Fonadhoo Moosa Siraj. 

53 MPs voted to accept the bill which will be evaluated by the Judiciary Committee of the parliament. 

Under the amendment, the disproportionate enrichment of a state employee who is currently working or had worked as a state employee if the earnings are disproportionate with the lifestyle established by the employee will be classified as a crime.

The amendment also called to criminalize the failure to justify the source of income in accordance with the law, if the asset is owned by the individual, a family member, someone with personal relationships or business connections as well.

It is a crime of second degree, according to the proposed amendment, if the individual obtaining unjust enrichment is the President of the nation, Parliamentarian, or a Court Justice. A maximum sentence of 15 years is included for the crime. 

If the employee is not of the above-mentioned level, the charges dropped to a third-degree offense with a maximum sentence of eight years. 

Bribery and offering of bribery is also designated as a crime under this amendment. The acceptance of a bribe or the promise of a bribe or offering a bribe as a state official or employee or any other individual is designated as a crime as well. The same is also extended towards foreign officials and organization officials as well, according to the amendment by MP Siraj.

Bribes involving international businesses or the attempt of initiating such a bribe for unlawful advantages is designated as a third-degree crime with a sentence of eight years. 

Misconduct and misappropriation of state funds and conducting business through influence is also designated as a crime.