ACC instructs recovery of USD 2.46M linked to MMPRC graft

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

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has asked Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) to recover USD 2.46 million from an individual – linked to the MMPRC graft scandal.

ACC’s spokesperson Hassan Saeed said the commission requested MMPRC to recover USD 2.46 million (MVR 37.93 million) received by Abdulla Asim (H. Snoopy, K. Male’) last Tuesday.

The commission declined to disclose any further details, including how Asim received the money.

Authorities estimate the loss in the MMPRC graft scandal to be above MVR 3.4 billion. An investigation by the authorities showed funds stolen from MMPRC had gone to senior members of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration, parliamentarians from both Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

A parliamentary committee had previously released a list of alleged recipients of the stolen funds.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz previously told the press that the investigation showed the funds had been stolen in a scheme to bankroll political agendas of the people involved.

According to Riyaz, the scheme first began in 2014, during the campaign for the parliamentary election.

According to authorities, the scheme was used to bankroll:

  • Primaries held by political parties for the 18th parliamentary assembly
  • Campaigns of parliamentary candidates who won the primaries
  • Election of Parliament’s speaker
  • To have parliamentarians switch parties
  • Major parliamentary votes (including legal amendments and appointment of candidates to state posts)
  • Convictions against politicians
  • Payment of duties by business owners
  • Education and healthcare
  • Sponsorship to police and MNDF
  • Government events and entertainment

The current administration has been hit with criticism over its failure to recover the stolen funds, as had been its electoral pledge.