Former VP Adeeb denies reports he has settled in Singapore

Former vice president Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor at the Velana International Airport on September 22, 2023. (Sun Photo/Maahil Athif)

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor has denied recent media reports that he has settled in Singapore.

Adeeb – who was convicted of multiple corruption charges in connection to the MMPRC graft scandal – left for Singapore on November 17, shortly after he was pardoned by former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in his last week in office.

This fueled rumors and media reports that he had permanently relocated to Singapore.

In a post on X on Sunday, Adeeb said he was currently abroad for medical treatment, and would return to Maldives after treatment.

“The recent media reports stating that I have settled in Singapore are inaccurate,” he wrote.

“I am currently abroad for medical treatment & after that, I will return to my beloved country, where I will live, work & be buried in the soil of Maldives, where I belong, Insha Allah!”

According to Adeeb’s party, the Maldives Third-Way Democrats (MTD), Adeeb underwent surgery in Singapore back in July.

The surgery had come after Adeeb was hospitalized at the IGMH in Male’ on July 5, for what his party called “a serious and life-threatening neurological condition”.

MTD said Adeeb’s medical condition is believed to be directly linked to complications he faced as a result three years of solitary confinement, between 2015 and 2018.

Adeeb, once the right-hand man of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, had been sentenced to 20 years in prison in October 2020.

He had pled guilty to seven charges under a plea deal with the state, which reduced the charges against him from 30.

After the plea deal, Adeeb, along with Abdulla Ziyath – the former managing director of MMPRC - served as state witnesses in Yameen’s trial.

Ziyath, too, received a presidential pardon.

But despite the conviction, Adeeb had been under home confinement since 2020, based on medical grounds.

The MMPRC graft scandal – which involves the embezzlement of millions of US dollars in the sale of islands and lagoons leased for tourism – had hit international headlines, and had been the subject of an Al Jazeera documentary.

Solih had built his 2018 presidential campaign on the promise of investigating the case and recovering the stolen funds.

The decision to issue presidential pardons to Adeeb and Ziyath sparked concern from rights watchdogs including Transparency Maldives and Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM).

The Transparency Maldives accused Solih of abuse of power, while the HRCM made an urgent appeal to revise the Clemency Act.

Adhaalath Party (AP), which had formed part of Solih’s coalition government, also condemned the decision.