Maldives tax authority drops Villa lawsuits

Maldives tax authority drops Villa lawsuits
April 26 15:22 2018

The Maldives tax authority has withdrawn all lawsuits filed against Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group to recover MVR2.9 billion (USD$188 million) in unpaid rents and fines for its properties.

The withdrawal of all four lawsuits follows a favourable Supreme Court verdict, in which it ruled the government had unlawfully revoked agreements for three islands and two lagoons in 2015.

The suits against Villa Shipping and Trading, Villa Holidays, Villa Hotels and Maanenfushi Private Limited were withdrawn on Wednesday at the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority’s request.

Villa Group’s bank accounts were unfrozen on Wednesday, having been frozen, unfrozen then frozen again in recent years.

A MIRA spokesman said the tax authority will continue to follow verdicts issued by courts, but refused to comment on specifics.

A Villa spokesman told the Maldives Independent a statement would soon be issued.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, a Villa official told reporters the company would be discussing countersuits against the government for the losses incurred due to the seizure of its properties.