Corrections: Yameen serving sentence in a VIP apartment

Opposition leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom bring transported to Maafushi Prison to serve his 11-year prison sentence. (Sun photo/Abdulla Shaathiu)

Maldives Correctional Service, on Tuesday, has revealed that opposition leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, who was recently convicted of money laundering and bribery, is serving his sentence at the special apartment unit, where he was previously stayed whilst serving a sentence on a similar conviction.

Yameen was charged with money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development during his administration.

He was accused of abusing his position and taking a USD 1 million bribe to facilitate the sale of Aarah to Yoosuf Naeem, a former parliamentary representative for Felidhoo constituency, and laundering the said money.

The state has also charged Naeem with giving the bribe.

Criminal Court, on Sunday, found Yameen guilty on both charges.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the money laundering charge, alongside a fine of USD 5 million

Meanwhile, he was sentenced to four years in prison for taking a bribe. 

On the same night, Yameen was transported to Maafushi Prison to serve his sentence.

Corrections’ Spokesperson Fathimath Yusreen told Sun on Tuesday that Yameen was serving his sentence at the Special Protection Unit, where he previously stayed whilst serving a sentence on a similar conviction.

The unit was developed of Maafushi Prison during Yameen’s administration which saw many political figures being sentenced to jail. In this regard, former presidents Mohamed Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom also served their sentences at the unit.

The unit which is isolated from the cells where detainees are normally housed comprises of a bathroom, a room and a sitting room. There is also a space to exercise outdoors.

Leadership of the opposition coalition met with Corrections officials on Monday, urging to ensure full security and protection of Yameen. They also discussed some arrangements.

No details regarding this meeting have been disclosed by Corrections.