Thursday, October 29, 2020

Jailed Maldives former president Yameen indicted for money laundering

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Two additional charges have been raised against jailed former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

President Yameen has been charged with corruption offences relating to the leasing of R. Fushidhiggaru island to be developed as a resort island. The Prosecutor General’s Office has charged the former president Yameen with money laundering and bribery.

President Yameen is alleged to have received bribes amounting to US$ 1,117,000 through an individual named Ahmed Krik Riza, and is accused of laundering the funds via Sun Construction and Engineering, and Sun Investments.

The Prosecutor General’s Office said the charges have been forwarded to the Criminal Court following a joint investigation by the police, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Presidential Commission on State Assets Recovery. The preliminary stage of the case is scheduled to begin this week.

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Money laundering and bribery charges have also been raised against Ahmed Krik Riza, and money laundering charges against Sun Construction and Engineering, Sun Investment.

The Prosecutor General’s Office said the state is working to recover US$ 38,689,425 in the case, including the US$ 1,349,885 involved in the crime as well as US$ 2,295,250 that was obtained through criminal activity, and an additional fine of US$ 34,689,425.

Former President Yameen is currently serving a five-year sentence after being found guilty of money laundering in relation to the MMPRC corruption case. He was accused of defying the agreement between himself and the Anti-Corruption Commission, which stipulated the former president to move funds in his Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) account that are suspected of having been laundered into an escrow account set up between the two parties.

Failing to do so, and moving the funds in question into an investment account, the former president deposited funds from another source into the escrow account.

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Finding him guilty of the charges levied against him, the Criminal Court sentenced the former president to five years in jail and ordered him to pay US$ five million to the state after being found guilty of money laundering on November 28 last year.

The high-profile trial was televised live on local channels, and the appeal trial is currently ongoing.

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