ACC-PG office discuss pressing charges in 5 MMPRC corruption cases

Members of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) hold a press conference on April 5, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Naail Hussain)

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has revealed they have begun discussions with the Prosecutor General’s Office (PG Office) in pressing charges in five cases related to MMPRC graft scandal.

Sharing information with the press on Thursday, ACC said that individuals and private companies are included among the five cases charges are being discussed.

ACC shared no further details regarding the case, however, stated that more information will be disclosed after discussions with PG Office.

The MMPRC scandal saw massive funds received from prospective developers as acquisition costs and other payments of islands to be leased and developed for tourism purposes be rerouted to government officials and others as bribes or payments and for personal gain and wealth. It marks the biggest corruption scandal in the Maldives’ recent history.

The corruption was first probed by ACC and Asset Recovery Commission, jointly with Maldives Police Service.

However, ACC, solely, took over the probe after Asset Recovery Commission handed over its work, before being dissolved. Asset Recovery Commission was dissolved following complaints from the public and opposition parties over failure to produce results, and delays.

With newly appointed members, ACC resumed investigations in the MMPRC case in April of this year.

During the initial stages of the investigation – ACC, Asset Recovery Commission and the Police released a list of names, alleged to have been beneficiaries of the scandal.

Only four people have been charged in connection to the case so far; former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, then-MMPRC’s President Ahmed Ziyath and former parliamentarian Ahmed Nihan Hussain.

37 uninhabited islands and 12 lagoons have been linked with the MMPRC graft case – for being awarded at well below their market value. The state stood to receive at least MVR 3.4 billion if the islands and lagoons had been sold at market value.