Ilyas Hussain Ibrahim has been replaced as the Controller of Immigration and Emigration by Dr Mohamed Ali, who has been serving as Chief of Staff at the President’s Office.
Ilyas was on Thursday appointed as Minister of State for Defense and National Security.
Ilyas is currently under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in relation to the awarding of the contract for a new border control system to the Malaysian firm Nexbis. The ACC told Minivan News that the case has been forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office.
The Nexbis case intensified this week as ACC officials raided the offices of the Immigration Department, eventually seizing laptops after alleged obstruction by department staff.
Former Immigration Controller Abdullah Shahid again voiced his disapproval of the project on Thursday. Shahid, who served between Ilyas’s two stints as controller, has been a long-time critic of the deal.
Shahid questioned the expense of the project, alleging that a free system could have been acquired with assistance from the Indian government, according to local newspaper Haveeru.
“A group of Indian experts had come to the Maldives and conducted and completed their surveys in a month’s time. If I was controller today everything would have been installed by now. Let me tell you something. Those experts from India would not even have to be given a cup of coffee on the expense of the Maldivian government,” Shahid told Haveeru.
However, Shahid insisted that no work had been carried out during his time as controller.