Independent MP questioned over corruption allegations against first couple

Independent MP questioned over corruption allegations against first couple
February 08 09:00 2016

Independent MP Ahmed Mahloof was summoned to the police headquarters last night for questioning over claims that there are millions of dollars in the first couple’s private bank accounts.

“Fathimath Ibrahim Didi’s [State Bank of India] account has only 13 million dollars, while President [Abdulla] Yameen’s SBI account has only 9 million dollars!” Mahloof had tweeted last week.

The MP for Galolhu South told reporters last night that the police asked for details of how he came by the information.

“I have in much detail explained to them that the information came from a policeman involved in the [Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation] corruption investigation. However, I have not revealed the policeman’s identity,” he said.

Mahloof said he urged the police to arrest the first couple to investigate the serious allegations against them as evidence of wrongdoing was being made public.

Yameen has been under fire in the wake of a damning audit report exposing the embezzlement of nearly US$80 million from the government-owned tourism promotion company.

Mahloof went to the police headquarters last night carrying a placard that read “Arrest Yameen.”

The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) contends that information proving Yameen and First Lady benefited from the scam was omitted from the audit report. But the audit office has denied facing undue influence from the government to falsify the report.

The MDP has also published a picture of a deposit slip that appears to show US$500,000 was deposited to the president’s personal account at the Maldives Islamic Bank, prompting the president’s office to deny allegations of Yameen’s involvement in the Maldives’ biggest corruption scandal.

Mahloof was expelled from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives in February last year after he publicly criticised Yameen.

He then began working with the opposition and was at the forefront of anti-government protests triggered by the imprisonment of former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim in early 2015.

Mahloof is currently facing trial on a charge of obstructing police duty at an opposition protest in March last year.