ACC probe case related to Rasmale’ project

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu inaugurates the Fushidhiggaru Falhu land reclamation project on December 18, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched an investigation into a case related to the current administration’s largest housing project, ‘Rasmale’.

ACC’s Spokesperson confirmed to Sun that an investigation was underway, however, did not disclose any further information as it is an ongoing investigation.

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has alleged Rasmale’ project to be an MVR 70 billion corruption.

Speaking as the party’s parliamentary spokesperson at a press conference last Monday, Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa said the government has agreed to grant 70 hectares of land to Sri Lanka's Capital Marine and Civil Construction (CMC) in exchange for the land reclamation of Fushidhiggaru lagoon to develop the new island.

"We have been telling repeatedly that this involves a shocking degree of corruption," Easa said.

The MP further said the lowest rate for a land transaction from Greater Male' region is MVR 6,500 per square foot, while beachfront plots from Hulhumale' Phase II were sold around MVR 10,200 per square foot around the culmination of the previous government.

"Even by factoring the lowest rate for a land value, the total would be between MVR 70- to MVR 100 billion," Easa explained the value of the alleged 70 hectares land sanctioned for CMC.

He said the opposition party was not making up lies, and added their claims can be validated by inspecting the recent history of land transactions and sale prices.

He called upon ACC to investigate the case as well.

Earlier, parliament Vice Speaker Ahmed Saleem submitted an extraordinary motion seeking answers on the project. The motion claimed current adminstration has not disclosed the project cost or other details including how it commissioned a dredger for reclamation.

While the state is expected to allocate MVR 600 million for the project in the 2025 State Budget, another MVR 350 million would be allocated in the following year's budget.

Although Rasmale' is among the most ambitious plans of the current adminstration, MDP opposes the initiative.

The opposition party argues the money allocated for Rasmale' project should be better redirected on completing Gulhifalhu and Giraavarufalhu development initiatives.