MACL chairman case sent to Civil Court

A case concerning the decision to allow the company developing Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) to deduct an Airport Development Concession (ADC) from government fees has been forwarded to the country’s Civil Court.

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has alleged that former Maldives Airport Company Ltd (MACL) Chairman ‘Bandhu’ Ibrahim Saleem agreed to deduct the ADC without approval from the company’s board, according to local media.  As all three stakeholders had not signed the changes to the agreement, it could not be considered legally binding, the ACC reportedly claimed in the Haveeru newspaper.

The Airport Development Charge (ADC) was intended to be a US$25 fee charged to outgoing passengers from January this year, as stipulated in the contract signed with GMR in 2010. The anticipated US$25 million the charge would raise was to go towards the cost of renovating INIA’s infrastructure.

The ADC charge was deemed an additional tax last year after the then-opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) filed a case with the Civil Court. The court went on to rule against the charging of the ADC.

GMR subsequently deducted $8.1million, the money it would have received from the ADC,  from its first quarter concessionary payments to the government.