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Umar Naseer denies links to money-owing company

The presidential hopeful has transferred his company shares to his wife and children.



Former home minister and presidential hopeful Umar Naseer Tuesday denied links to a company owing MVR 1.8 million (US$116,572) to the state, despite transferring shares to his wife and children.

On Monday, the Civil Court ordered the confiscation of Naseer’s passport because his Tourist Submarine company failed to comply with a 2016 ruling to pay the money to the pensions office.

Naseer is one of the directors of the company, but he said in a statement that he transferred his shares to other individuals and removed himself from the firm’s responsibilities.

“Following my decision to run in this year’s presidential election, I have given up all my business interests and transferred my shares in various companies to other individuals,” he said.

He also claimed the economic ministry was informed of this and the court order was based on incorrect information.

The correct information has been provided to the court, Naseer said, adding he expected the court to soon review its order.

Documents obtained by the Maldives Independent confirm that he transferred his shares to his wife, daughter and a third individual on July 3.

According to the documents, 77 percent of the shares were transferred to his wife Aishath Shazlee, 10 percent to his daughter Aminath Faraha and three percent to a man named Mohamed Shareef.

Naseer’s passport was held under the regulation on debt collection, which authorises the confiscation of directors’ passports in companies that owe money.

He has said he will run as an independent candidate in the September presidential election, but cannot if he has outstanding debts.

Naseer, who contested and lost in the 2008 presidential elections, is a long-time fan of imposing Islamic Shariah and the death penalty.

He has positioned himself as a politician who is tough on crime. During his time as home minister he banned street protests and tagged gangsters.