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Corruption watchdog ‘chief’ botches his resignation

Hassan Luthfee failed to sign his resignation letter: reports.



The former head if the Anti-Corruption Commission Hassan Luthfee (centre). – File Photo

The resignation of Hassan Luthfee from the Maldives corruption watchdog has been called into question because he did not sign his resignation letter, it was reported in the media on Tuesday.

Luthfee, the former president of the Anti-Corruption Commission, resigned in late June as parliament moved to initiate impeachment proceedings against him. He was also facing a police investigation into charges of money laundering.

At the time, the president’s office confirmed that Luthfee had submitted his resignation in writing.

However, local media reported on Tuesday that the president’s office had since informed parliament that they could not verify the validity of the resignation as it had not been signed by Luthfee.

The ACC head came under fire when the commission told the parliamentary committee on independent institutions that Luthfee had been absent from work for two months, while continuing to cash his pay cheques.

According to commission members who testified at parliament, Luthfee took leave in April and had not reported to work since.

The committee in June unanimously voted to initiate impeachment proceedings against him for neglecting his duties. The report on the decision would have gone to the parliamentary floor, where ruling MDP parliamentarians were expected to vote against Luthfee. However, the news of his resignation halted the parliamentary process.

Luthfee was not responding to calls for comment at the time of publication.

Under the law, a member of an independent commission has to submit their resignation in writing to the president, with the resignation becoming effective upon receipt by the president.

Luthfee has been out of the country since April.

Luthfee is also under police investigation for money laundering, along with a group of others. The police probe was launched after the Maldives Monetary Authority’s financial intelligence unit, which oversees financial transactions under the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act, flagged suspicious transactions. 

In a separate police investigation into money laundering charges against former president Abdulla Yameen, Luthfee is accused of trying to cover up for and defend Yameen.