Yacht Tours Maldives, which is owned by opposition politician Abdulla Jabir, is facing hefty sanctions after the Civil Court shot down a lawsuit challenging the tax authority for freezing the holiday firm’s bank accounts.
The Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) froze Yacht Tours’ accounts in March 2017 along with the accounts of Villa Shipping and Trading company, which is owned by by Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim.
Judge Ali Abdulla on Monday said there was “no legal or judicial basis” to rule the MIRA freeze unlawful.
The ruling comes days after the Civil Court ordered Yacht Tours to pay back more than US$29 million as unpaid rent and fines from the lease of Alidhoo, an island in Haa Alif atoll leased to the company 13 years ago for resort development.
Yacht Tours was ordered to pay all US$29 million within a year, starting from the day of the verdict.
In September 2017 it was ordered to pay back more than US$3.6 million as unpaid rent and fines from the lease of Beenaafushi island and Kandaali Finolhu lagoon in Haa Alif Atoll. The court gave the firm three months to pay back this amount.
Jabir, a former MP and close advisor to former president Mohamed Nasheed, is in exile and lives in the UK.
In April this year he received amnesty from the UK. His passport was suspended by the Maldives government in June 2017.
Photo: Yacht Tours Maldives