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Corruption watchdog chief resigns – again

Hassan Luthfee had to resubmit his resignation because he failed to sign the first.



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

The ex-chief of the Maldives corruption watchdog has resigned for a second time, after the validity of his late-June resignation was called into question because he hadn’t signed it.

The spokesman for the president’s office, Ibrahim Hood, told the Maldives Independent that the office received a signed resignation letter on Wednesday.

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

Hassan Luthfee, the former president of the Anti-Corruption Commission, initially resigned via email in June, as parliament moved to initiate impeachment proceedings against him. The email, however, did not bear a signature. As a result, the validity of the resignation was questioned by the president’s office, which was forced to inform parliament of its concerns, local media reported on Tuesday.

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.

The committee in June unanimously voted to initiate impeachment proceedings against him for neglecting his duties. 

Luthfee, who has been out of the country since April, is also being investigated by the police 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.