Tourism Minister implicated in US$6million corruption scandal

An audit report has implicated Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb in a corruption scandal involving US$6million, a day after ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) amended the Audit Law to reappoint the Auditor General (AG).

AG Niyaz Ibrahim, in today’s special audit report, said the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company (MMPRC) obtained a US$1million loan from Maldives Tourism Development Corporation in the guise of making an urgent payment to a foreign party and subsequently loaned the money to a company owned by Adeeb’s father.

Adeeb owned a 35 percent share in Montillion International Private Ltd, but transferred his shares to his father in March 2012 when he assumed the post of Tourism Minister.

The company only made MVR 70,100 in 2011 through trade, but in the period between 2012 and 2014, US$ 6.8 million and MVR 3.6 million from tourism related business rolled through the company’s accounts, the report noted.

In a separate case, the MMPRC also asked the Maldives Ports Ltd (MPL) to hand over MVR 77.1million to pay the company US$5million at a later date. MPL agreed to transaction despite demonstrating no need for dollars.

MMPRC immediately transferred MVR 77.1million to a private company Millenium Capital Management Pvt Ltd. Only US$ 3 million of the pledged US$5million has been paid back. The audit report said Adeeb helped MMPRC push the deal through.

It also suggested the Tourism Ministry awarded a company owned by an Italian an island for resort development to pay back US$2.25million of the US$6million MMPRC owed to MPL and MTDC.

According to the report, Adeeb has failed to declare assets as per Article 138 of the Constitution since he took up the post of Tourism Minister.

The Tourism Ministry and Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) refused to cooperate with the investigation, the report noted.

In a tweet Adeeb has condemned the report as politically motivated.

Channel News Maldives (CNM) broke the story of the US$6million corruption scandal in May. Its reporter Abdulla Haseen was charged with disobedience to order in August, but the Prosecutor General withdrew the charges a few weeks later.

Minivan News understands former deputy Speaker of Majlis Mohamed Nazim was involved in leaking documents to CNM. His passport was withheld last week, but Nazim left the country on the date the warrant was issued.

Millenium, Montillion, New Mood

Niyaz said MMPRC had obtained MVR77.1million from MPL and US$1million from MTDC to provide illegal loans to private companies.

Although MPL approved the MVR 77.1million payment in exchange for US$5 million, the company had no need of dollars and the transaction was made on MMPRC’s initiation, not MPL’s.

Further, MPL’s 2014 budget shows it required only US$2.2million for machinery in 2014, but the bidding process had not been opened at the time of transaction. MPL also had US$800,000 in treasury bonds and a large amount of dollars in its accounts.

Moreover, MMPRC is not authorized to engage in dollar trade and does not have the capacity to buy or sell US$5 million, as its working capital at the end of 2013 stood at US$4.5million and assets were only worth MVR 324,485.

MPL authorized the “risky” transfer after MMPRC issued two dated checks. When MMPRC failed to make its second payment of US$2.5 million on July 8, the agreement was amended to allow the company to pay back the money by December 1. The report said the amendment was made because Millennium failed to repay MMPRC on time.

In the second case, MMPRC on April 9 asked MTDC for an urgent loan of US$1million to make an urgent payment to a foreign party for tourism promotion. The loan was to be paid back by May 15.

The money was transferred to Adeeb’s father’s company Montillion on April 15.

But MMPRC made no payment to any foreign party in the period. The loan was paid back by New Mood Resort Pvt Ltd, which was given Dhaalu Atoll Maagau Island, at a head lease rent of US$2.25 million.

Toursim Ministry and MIRA refused to reveal details of the Maagau deal despite repeated requests, the audit report said.

Montillion is also accused of bribing a senior tourism ministry official with US$450,000 in February in a separate resort development deal.

Neither the Finance Ministry nor the MMPRC board were involved in either case. The MMPRC’s Managing Director Abdullah Ziyath personally handled all of the transactions, including picking up checks, against the company’s procedures.

Niyaz has recommended all individuals involved in the two cases be investigated for corruption and charged with abuse of power.

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21 thoughts on “Tourism Minister implicated in US$6million corruption scandal”

  1. What? Adheeb is corrupt? Nah, he's an angel sent straight from heaven to help Yameen steer Maldives and its citizens to paradise.

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  2. If there is PROOF then he should fry.

    I'm not saying this article is incorrect.

    I'm not saying this article is using falsifying data.

    I'm INSISTING that if the report is legitimate and there is a strong case to be built against Mr. Adheeb - he must face charges, a trial and, if found guilty - sentenced.

    I belong to no party. My duty is to my country and it's people.

    And no one, not a minister, nor a president - not even a king - is above the law.

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  3. Adeeb is as much of a scum as minivan is , and thats very very scummy.

    And only 6 mil? hahahahahaha tip of the iceberg?

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  4. So this is how MMPRC (Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company) does marketing...

    .. thank you Mr. Adeeb for this kind of 'public relations' of tourism

    Amazing job.
    :)

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  5. In pre 2008 dictatorship time, everyone knew it was a dictorship and corrupt.

    In the NEW democracy of Maldives, people still know its corrupt. HOWEVER, they expect the opposition party to take proactive action whenever there is hard evidence... not just gloat over the misery of PPM.

    Hope MDP can seize this moment of opportunity and show true leadership as the party of responsible management of the tourism industry.
    Leadership of the economy is too precious to be left in the hands of a joker.

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  6. If Adheeb had done this,he need to be removed from the ministerial post immediately.

    If this report is not true, then Niyaz must be punished for issuing political reports like this.

    Corruption from PPM and MDP and need to find another party who could lead this country.

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  7. The auditor general does not just release "fatwas". His reports are not works of fiction. They are backed by evidence, I.e. Documentary evidence to the extent possible. Remember that Niyaz has raise many such reports regarding corruption by the previous MDP government.

    If you know the meaning of "audit report" then you have to be very concerned by this as it relates to Yaameen's right hand man. Investors do take note: your money is safe as long as it is channelled through Adheeb affiliated channels. 3rd world corruption at its best!

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  8. @ Hero

    'If Adheeb had done this'...

    ofcourse Adeeb did not do it pesonally. He was acting in the financial interest of his party PPM (which inludes @Hero as a cheerleader.

    what @Hero needs to know is that it is circa 2014, the internet age and its impossible to play with words and propergenda.

    There are no secrets anymore. You can delude yourself, but no one else would belive you.

    Hope this is a lesson

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  9. I am not a supporter of PPM but I am now against MDP. I don't like the corruption from any party whether its PPM or MDP or any other party. Anyone who found guilty must be punished including Naasheed's corruption too

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  10. The biggest mistake yameen made was keeping this guy as the Tourism minister from Baagee Waheed days. This the opportune crack for the opposition to root down and break the regime.

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  11. Apparently the 6M usd a 'temporary loan' from the state. The dear boy will ofcourse 'pay' the money in good time. He even have the intention to pay back.

    So you guys complain.. the check is in the post. People take loans. And its normal.

    :)

    http://www.haveeru.com.mv/dhivehi/news/162585?o=hm_1

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  12. Oh is this the cackle behind the audit report. No wonder that the tourism minister was bubbling on Rajjetv about his deceive.

    This why PPM abolish audit low unconstitutionally. great ppls keep selling your vote.

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  13. Those masters of wisdom, all the animals are equal some equal than others.
    emotionally charged yet poorly defined term
    luck is when opportunity meets preparation not buy robbing
    old cliché' if you don't learn from the past in future you make the same mistake. leaner from this Maldivian and her supporters

    money talks bs walks

    Robbing at day light.. Now what would you Say Mr President (not my president- Yameen).. ????

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  14. Govt operates like a mafia.... mira collects protection money from people, courts legitimize govt's actions when people disobey them & police are their hitmen. Adeeb works for godfather.

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  15. In the land where the lines of right and wrong are somewhat blurred. Why am I not surprised.

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  16. This is totally insane!
    If the government's monetary affairs have gone to this level during this short period of time, wonder what it could be another year and a half later!

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  17. Perhaps Bollywood should make a film out of this episode between Nazim and Adheeb.

    Nazim is probably pissed off that he's been trumped by a smarter and younger man. Meanwhile Adheeb has learned from the older crooks and found some "smart" ways to pocket large sums of money himself.

    There's one universal truth: No Maldivian politician has EVER been clean! If Adheeb can disprove that universal truth, then he can go on to win a Nobel Prize for something...

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  18. This is why democracy does not work out in a country like this. A system that is already corrupt will continue to do so,unless people take action. This country needs an iron fisted rule like that of saudi arabia. 100% muslim country my a**!

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