According to information shared by the Prosecutor General’s Office, the alleged corruption by former Vice President and Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad in a project to develop K. Fushidhiggarufalhu as a special tourism zone resulted in a MVR 9.32 billion loss to the State.
The Prosecutor General’s Office filed corruption charge against Jihad with the Criminal Court in connection to the Fushidhiggru project earlier this Sunday.
According to a statement released by the Prosecutor General’s Office detailing the charge against Jihad, the Cabinet, under the advisement of the National Planning Council, made the decision to make a joint venture agreement with 50 percent government share to develop Fushidhiggarufalhu as a special tourism zone on November 29, 2011. It was decided that the government will not put up any capital, and will receive land rent from the project.
Jihad is accused of signing an agreement as Finance Minister with Prime Capital Maldives Limited to form a joint venture to develop Fushidhiggarufalhu as a special tourism zone on January 13, 2013 with 25 percent government share instead of a 50 percent government share as had been decided by the Cabinet, acting in clear contravention of the Cabinet’s decision for no credible reason.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said Jihad’s actions precluded the State from USD 604,713,750 (MVR 9.32 billion) in land rent alone.
In accordance with the National Planning Council and the Cabinet’s decision, the State would have earned USD 411,720,000 as land rent and USD 192,993,750 as prime location charge over a period of 50 years.
Jihad has been charged with using the influence of his position to obtain or confer an undue advantage in a manner which precludes an advantage to state where a benefit exists under Article 13 (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act with reference to Article 13 (a) of the Act.
The charge carries a sentence of 5 years of imprisonment, banishment or house arrest.