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Former ally alleges president’s complicity in corruption scandals

Former MP Nazim broke his silence years after going into exile.



Exiled former lawmaker Ahmed Nazim has alleged President Abdulla Yameen’s involvement in “all stages” of the country’s biggest corruption scandal. 

During the campaign for last month’s election, Yameen repeatedly denied responsibility for the unprecedented theft of nearly US$80 million from state coffers, blaming his jailed former deputy Ahmed Adeeb.

After years in exile, Nazim broke his silence Sunday with a detailed statement backing Adeeb’s insistence that he was acting on the president’s orders.

Formerly a close associate of the president, he went into exile after he was sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2015.

He was “waiting for the institutions and courts to become independent” to reveal further “critical evidence” about Yameen’s involvement, Nazim told the Maldives Independent on Monday.

Nazim said he met Yameen at the president’s office on April 24, 2014 to alert him to Adeeb embezzling funds from the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

“The corruption which began at US$5 million had risen to US$80 million when it was revealed to the country 18 months later. President Yameen knew all the facts and was an accomplice when the entire state was looted,” he alleged in the statement posted on Twitter.

“This was my fourth and final face-to-face meeting with president Yameen since he assumed office.”

According to an audit report released after Adeeb’s arrest, acquisition fees for resort leases were funnelled into private bank accounts.

Nazim also accused Yameen of using state funds to repay a businessman who loaned him money for the 2013 campaign.

He warned Yameen at the time that “this will become public sooner or later” and advised the president “to immediately stop this massive corruption.”

Yameen was alleged to have told Nazim that he was “routinely getting his hands on the money” from tycoons and that Adeeb was acting as a middle-man.

“With this, I bring an end to my silence,” Nazim declared.

The former MP for Dhiggaru has reportedly been living in exile in the United Kingdom. He relocated there after he was allowed to seek medical treatment in Singapore.