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Maldives police urged to probe president over ‘cash counting’ claims

More than US$80 million was embezzled from the state-owned marketing company.



Maldives police were Sunday asked to probe sensational corruption allegations made against the president by his jailed former deputy.

Ex-vice president Ahmed Adeeb told the Criminal Court that President Abdulla Yameen counted cash siphoned off from the MMPRC scandal inside his home.

Adeeb said Yameen was behind changes that allowed the Maldives state-owned marketing company, MMPRC, to collect money from island deals instead of the tax authority doing it.

A special audit revealed over US$80 million was embezzled through MMPRC, mostly from acquisition fees through leasing islands, lagoons and plots of land. It is the biggest graft case in the history of the Maldives

Police were urged to investigate Adeeb’s explosive claims and search the president’s home.

“Ahmed Adeeb said the US$80 million from the MMPRC embezzlement was taken to Yameen’s personal residence G. Dhoovehi, that the money was counted in the residence, that there is a special room in the residence for counting money and that US$1 million of the money was deposited into Yameen’s own bank account,” a statement from the joint opposition said.

“Because this has been revealed by Adeeb, and as some of this has been admitted by Yameen himself, in the case submitted to police by the MDP (Maldivian Democratic Party), the joint political parties have asked police to search the places of residence and places under the care of Yameen and conduct a complete and thorough criminal investigation.”

Police spokesman Ahmed Shifan was not responding to calls for comment.