Two councilors implicated in Dhuvaafaru corruption scandal return to work

Six members of R. Dhuvaafaru Council.

Two councilors from R. Dhuvaafaru who were suspended after getting implicated in a corruption case have returned to work.

A special report prepared by the Local Government Authority (LGA) showed over MVR 2 million in suspicious transfers to the personal bank accounts of some of the councilors and staff members of the council from the budget.

All six councilors were suspended following the report.

Two of them returned to work Tuesday.

LGA’s CEO Afshan Latheef told Sun on Wednesday that the councilors will retain their seat unless and until they are convicted of corruption in a court of law.

“We can only suspend them. And that is only up to three months. The two councilors in question were suspended for less than three months in light of their involvement in the corruption. Only the council’s president was penalized with a big suspension,” she said.

Head of LGA’s Legal Affairs, Abdulla Rasheed said different councilors were given different suspension periods based on their responsibilities and the seriousness of their act.

“Because the council’s president is the financial controller, he has certain responsibilities. Therefore, he was questioned differently. And different councilors were penalized to different degrees. That is based on the severity of the transaction and responsibilities. The responsibilities of council’s members, vice president, and president are different,” he said.

LGA found the transfers were in violation of Decentralization Act, the regulations made by the LGA under the Act, the Public Finance Act, Public Finance Regulation, and other related laws and regulations.

The councilors were found to have been in derelict of their duties, and failed to maintain paperwork in compliance with the laws and regulations.

The Prosecutor General’s Office said Wednesday that the office has completed duty prosecution process, and are making final preparations to file formal charges.