Bill criminalizing unjust wealth passed with 15 year sentence

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

The Parliament has passed the bill incriminating unjust enrichment with a long-term sentence. 

Finadhoo MP Moosa Siraj submitted the amendment to the Penal Code criminalizing the disproportionate enrichment of a state employee if the wealth is disproportionate to the earnings of the employee.

A total of 50 MPs voted to pass the amendment. 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. 

The bill saw two amendments during the Committee stages whereby if the employee acts in a manner that inflicts losses to the state in a situation where the state could have gained, would also be classified as a third-degree crime. 

The terminology classifying state employees was also amended today, which means that employees of state companies, companies with majority stakes held by the government are also included in the terminology as well as regulatory bodies formed under a law.