The Civil Court has issued an injunction on the Rf100 million fine levied against local business tycoon Mohamed ‘Champa’ Moosa, by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for illegal reclamation work on Thunbafushi, reports Haveeru.
Champa’s lawyer, former Attorney General Azima Shukoor, is contesting that the EPA violated the constitution and the Environment Protection Act by imposing a fine on him.
The EPA labelled Champa an “environmental criminal” for irreversibly damaging the island of Thun’bafushi and the marine ecosystem of Thun’bafalhu.
After three surveys of the area, the EPA assessed the damage as amounting to Rf2,230,293,566 (US$144.6 million), not including the impact of sedimentation from the dredging which can smother coral kilometres from the site.
A foreign consultant who was involved in surveying the island told Minivan News in an earlier interview that the area “seems to have been used as a dumping ground.”
“There were what looked like hundreds of used car batteries, waste metals and oil drums leeching into the marine environment,” the consultant said.