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Maldives president accused of failure to disclose finances

The president’s spokesman denied allegations that he has not disclosed personal finances for four years.



President Abdulla Yameen’s spokesman denied Tuesday allegations that he has not disclosed assets for the past four years. 

“It is a lie that the president does not submit his financial statements! The president has submitted the financial statements since he became president, and Auditor General has accepted it,” Ibrahim Muaz Ali tweeted.

“After that, Auditor General has amended how financial statements should be submitted, and recently shared a format for financial statement with the president. The president has given assurances that he would submit the financial statements according to the format.”

The tweets came in response to allegations by opposition spokesman Ahmed Mahloof.

The constitution requires the president to annually submit to the Auditor General “a statement of all property and monies owned by him, business interests and all assets and liabilities.”

Neither the president nor the majority of lawmakers have made the information available to the public.

Contrary to Muaz’s claim, an official at the Auditor General’s office told the Maldives Independent that the office uses only one format for financial statements, which has not been amended.

Mahloof tweeted after the denial: “Question is not about the format, but how long it has been since it has not been submitted.”

Yameen has been dogged by allegations of corruption since the unprecedented theft of nearly US$80 million from state coffers was exposed in a damning special audit in February 2016.

Last November, the anti-corruption watchdog confirmed longstanding allegations that a local company implicated in the corruption scandal deposited US$1 million into Yameen’s private account at the Maldives Islamic Bank.

Yameen denies any involvement in the scandal, pinning the blame on his jailed former deputy.