Executive facing corruption charges appointed as deputy minister

Executive facing corruption charges appointed as deputy minister
June 13 16:45 2016

The Maldives Roads Development Corporation’s managing director has been transferred to a political post despite pending corruption charges over a MVR1 million (US$64,850) loss incurred by the state-owned company.

The Privatisation and Corporatisation Board dismissed Ibrahim Nazeem on Sunday and appointed Abdul Razzaq Haleem as his replacement today.

Haleem was dismissed yesterday as CEO of the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company. Nazeem has meanwhile been appointed the housing ministry’s deputy minister.

The MRDC’s and MTCC’s spokesmen have confirmed the changes, but what prompted the shuffle is unclear. The privatisation board does not have a publicly listed number and the president’s spokesman, Ibrahim Muaz Ali, was not responding to calls.

The anti-corruption watchdog had forwarded abuse of authority charges against the former MRDC MD in mid-May.

Nazeem is accused of arranging an advance payment for a shipment of cement without the approval of the company’s board of directors.

According to the Anti-Corruption Commission, an advance payment of MVR10 million (US$648,500) was made to a company called Raise Crown Production before the 5,000 tons of cement were delivered.

While the cement was delivered 169 days after the deadline stipulated in the contract, the ACC said the roads corporation was unable to seek damages due to the advance payment.

According to the terms of the contract, the MRDC could have charged a rate of 0.1 percent of the total payment for each delayed day.

However, as the maximum that could be charged for liquidated damages is 10 percent, the ACC calculated that Nazeem’s actions caused a loss of more than MVR1 million.

The Prosecutor General’s office was asked to press charges of abuse of authority to benefit a third party as well as preventing benefit to the state.

PG spokesman Ismail Hisham Wajeeh told The Maldives Independent that the case is under review.

Meanwhile, the privatisation board also dismissed Sinan Ali from the MTCC’s board of directors yesterday and appointed him as chairman of the State Electricity Company.

The post of STELCO chairman has been vacant since the dismissal of Mohamed Afeef Hussain on May 18.

Afeef, also director general of the Public Works Service, told Sun Online he wished to free up time to attend to personal projects.