SeaLife MD Ammaty’s extradition delayed as Lanka police open separate probe

Ahmed Moosa Mohamed, Managing Director of SeaLife Global. (Photo/Interpol)

Maldives Police Service said on Tuesday they are unable to say when SeaLife Global’s managing director Ahmed Moosa Mohamed (Ammaty) - who went on the run after defrauding over 200 tenants for a proposed apartment complex in suburban Hulhumale’ out of millions in booking fees – can be extradited to Maldives as he is under investigation by the Sri Lankan police.

Ammaty (Red House, V. Thinadhoo), who has had an Interpol red notice out for his capture since 2019, was arrested in neighboring Sri Lanka last February.

A police spokesperson told Sun on Tuesday that Ammaty is under investigation by the Sri Lankan police and is currently detained.

The spokesperson said Maldivian authorities have been unable to initiate the extradition process as the investigation against him by the Sri Lankan police remains open.

“He remains in custody of Sri Lankan police in connection to a case under investigation,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson did not specify the nature of the investigation by the Sri Lankan police.

SeaLife announced its 3,000-apartment housing project, the SeaLife Complex in Hulhumale’, back in 2015.

280 tenants paid a booking fee of MVR 50,000 (some more than MVR 50,000). But the SeaLife Complex was never built and the tenants never reimbursed for their down payments.

The cumulative total of the booking fees collected by SeaLife is estimated to be upwards of MVR 14 million.

The tenants who were cheated of their money filed a class-action lawsuit with the Civil Court against SeaLife Global, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and Ministry of Economic Development in January 2019.

HDC and Ministry of Economic Development later reached a settlement in July 2019, under which they agreed to pay the tenants MVR 45 million as compensation and give them priority in allocation of housing units under public housing schemes.

SeaLife Global was awarded land in Hulhumale’ to building the apartment complex as compensation for termination of a government contract to build luxury villas in V. Thinadhoo signed during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration. The company was awarded land in Hulhumale’ and launched the housing project with approval from the Economic Council of the President’s Office in 2014, during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration.