Criminal Court orders the release of Sealife MD Ammaty again

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

Criminal Court, on Sunday, has ordered the release of SeaLife Global’s managing director Ahmed Moosa Mohamed (Ammaty) – pressed with multiple charges for defrauding over 200 tenants out of millions in booking fees for a proposed apartment complex in suburban Hulhumale’.

At a hearing held today to revise the remand of Ammaty, Criminal Court had granted him a conditional release. Presiding judge in the case, Judge Hassan Saeed, said that the conditions would later be informed to both the prosecution and Ammaty.

During today’s hearing, the prosecution had stressed possibilities of Ammaty fleeing should he be released. On this note, the prosecution stressed that he was extradited to Maldives whilst living in Sri Lanka after having previously fled.

This is the third-time Ammaty is being released, after being arrested. The last time he was released on bail after the court accepted his sisters as surety. However, High Court had later overturned this decision.

After being awarded land in Hulhumale’ to build an apartment complex under an agreement made with the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) – 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 were 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.

Ammaty, who had an Interpol red notice out for his capture since 2019, was arrested in neighboring Sri Lanka in February.

He was extradited to Maldives in March 2021, and charged with 42 counts of embezzlement which could see him behind bars for 65 years in May. He had been in police custody until the Criminal Court ordered his release in June 2021, declaring the case does not require his detention.

The decision was overturned by the High Court following an appeal by the Prosecutor General’s Office, citing Ammaty may influence witnesses and is deemed an extreme flight risk. 

His release was ordered by the Criminal Court for a second time on October 2021– after the court accepted his sisters as surety. This decision was also overturned by High Court, in November 2021. 

Ammaty has pled ‘not guilty’ to all 42 charges raised against him.