Airports Investment ordered to pay USD 3.3m to WLT

Maamingili MP Qasim Ibrahim who is also the head of the Villa Group and a well-known businessman in the Maldives. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Saeed)

The Civil Court of the Maldives has ordered the Airports Investments Maldives (AIMS) to pay a sum of USD 3.3 million to the Villa Group's World Travel Links (WLT).

The court issued the ruling regarding a case submitted by the WLT against AIMS stating that the company had failed to award three islands under a 2007 agreement to develop resorts, after collecting USD 16.9 million as advance payments. The court case seeks to obtain compensation and as well as the return of the advance payment made. 

Out of the advance payment of USD 16.9 million, the state is to pay USD 15 million, while from the finance cost of USD 13.2 million, the state is to pay USD 11.7 million. AIMS is held liable for USD 1.9 million of the advance payment and USD 1.4 million of the finance cost. 

The Civil Court found that Villa Group along with Villa Shipping and Trading owed the state huge amounts in unpaid taxes, which when deducted from the payments of the agreement, showed that the state had repaid the remaining amount to WLT. However, USD 1.9 million of the advance payment was still owed by AIMS to WLT, according to the Civil Court ruling yesterday. 

The Civil Court ordered AIMS to pay the amount as well as the payment of USD 1.4 million to WLT within a period of one month.