Adeeb denies corruption allegations as MDP calls for prosecution

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb has denied allegations of corruption in a special audit report of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company (MMPRC) while the opposition has called on the prosecutor general to press charges.

The report (Dhivehi) – made public on Thursday (October 30) – implicated Adeeb in corrupt transactions worth US$6 million between the MMPRC and the Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) and the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

The MMPRC obtained MVR77 million (US$5 million) from MPL to be paid back in dollars and US$1 million from MTDC as a loan, which was immediately transferred to two companies – Millenium Capital Management Pvt Ltd and Montillion International Private Ltd, both with ties to Adeeb.

Speaking at a press conference at private broadcaster DhiTV’s studio last night (October 31), Adeeb insisted that the MVR77 million was not a financial loss to the state, noting that US$3 million has been repaid to MPL with the remainder due in December.

“Under my [tenure] as tourism ministry, in order to avoid state companies going into the dollar black market, I have obtained dollars for the state from one state company to another, the tourism industry, and various private parties,” Adeeb said.

Adeeb claimed to have arranged for local businessmen to purchase treasury bills worth MVR800 to 900 million as of October 2013 to ease the government’s cash flow problems.

The agreement between MMPRC and MPL was approved by the respective boards of the state-owned enterprises, the ruling Progressive of Party of Maldives’ (PPM) deputy leader stressed.

The MVR77 million from MPL was not embezzled or misappropriated, he insisted, claiming that the government routinely converts rufiyaa into dollars through private parties.

On the allegation that the tourism ministry awarded an italian-owned company an island for resort development to pay back US$2.25million of the US$6million MMPRC owed to MPL and MTDC, Adeeb claimed that Dhaalu Maagau was used as a picnic island by PPM MP Ahmed Nazim’s friends.

The former deputy speaker of parliament had repeatedly sought to secure the island, Adeeb said, dismissing the allegation that the Italian paid the lease rent for the island through Adeeb’s father’s Montillion company.

Adeeb also pledged to release his financial statement to the media on Sunday (November 2) and denied failing to declare assets.

According to the audit report, Adeeb has failed to declare assets as stipulated by Article 138 of the Constitution since he was appointed tourism minister in 2012.


When the US$6 million corruption scandal first surfaced in May, Adeeb told Minivan News that the “defamation attempt” was linked to his refusal to support certain individuals for speaker and deputy speaker of the 18th People’s Majlis.

Minivan News understands MP Ahmed Nazim was involved in leaking documents related to the case to online news outlet CNM, which first broke the story of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigating the transactions.

Nazim’s passport was withheld last week, but he left the country on the date the court order was issued.

In May, Adeeb confirmed to Minivan News that two repayment cheques dated May 10 and 15 bounced due to insufficient funds.

The MTDC’s US$1 million had been reimbursed, Adeeb said, while MPL had been paid one-third of the owed amount in dollars. The remaining two thirds are due in June, he added.

At last night’s press briefing, Adeeb alleged “extraordinary ties” between Nazim and Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim.

Following his refusal to support Nazim for the deputy speaker’s post, Adeeb said Nazim threatened to put out audit reports implicating him as well as family members in corrupt dealings.

Moreover, the auditor general’s office neither sought a statement from him nor posed any questions regarding the transactions, Adeeb said.

“I am most saddened that professionals, specialised people, are brought in between our political rivalry in the political arena,” he said.


The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) meanwhile released a press statement yesterday condemning the government’s “unconstitutional” and “unlawful” attempts to replace the auditor general before the end of his seven-year term.

Last week, parliament passed amendments to the Audit Act requiring the president to reappoint an auditor general within 30 days of ratifying the amendments.

President Abdulla Yameen ratified the amendments on Thursday.

The MDP contended that the auditor general could only be removed from office through the process specified in the Constitution, which was “(a) on the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence; and (b) a finding to that effect by a committee of the People’s Majlis, pursuant to article (a) and upon the approval of such finding by the People’s Majlis by a majority of those present and voting, calling for the Auditor General’s removal from office”.

The attempt to remove the auditor general shows the level of corruption in the current administration, the press release stated, adding that the government was undermining independent institutions.


10 thoughts on “Adeeb denies corruption allegations as MDP calls for prosecution”

  1. Technically, what he says is correct:

    "I have not taken or misplaced any money that belongs to the State".

    However, that DOES NOT mean he didn't profit illegally from State funds. Even a child can figure out how to make money without stealing or misplacing State funds.

    Adheeb so far has not answered questions regarding WHY companies or parties linked to him have been handling very large sums of money involving the State. It doesn't take a genius to make handsome profits when doing such large transactions.

    Can he clearly show the nature of the transactions and how the funds flowed? Adheeb has so far just evaded the actual allegations that are levelled at him. It's totally unacceptable to just say that the Audit Report is politically motivated. Whether it is or not, he's got to answer a lot of unanswered questions.

  2. Corrupt men rule every country of the world. Why is this guy put in spotlight?

    The Mullahs are destroying the childhood from our kids by demonizing the artistic and adventurous activities.

    The men in power are fighting off each other to gain access to bigger chunk of the cake.

    The opposition wants to destroy the current government, no matter what.

    The gangs are stabbing everyone who happens to be in the way.

    The police are dumb nincompoops.

    The judiciary is unbelievably ignorant, and the constitution is making them feel like gods.

    The media spins the stories to make as much money they can.

    The Sheikhs are bringing in charlatans, to stun the population. They are afraid if the country gets educated, their agenda would cease.

  3. MMPRC
    Blatant disregard for process and procedure is evident in the day to day management of MMPRC with Adheeb's close friend Abdullah Ziyath as the MD of the company.

    MMPRC's mandate has drastically been expanded beyond tourism promotion to what is now for all intensive purposes - a trading & resort leasing business on behalf of government where MMPRC can commercially lease resorts (previously part of the ministry's mandate) and do deals based on commercial terms with private individuals even without bidding process.

    Letters from MMPRC has been issued to various private businesses by its MD Abdullah Ziyath with the consent of Ministry of Tourism where MMPRC offers deals such as pay an upfront of US$ 3 million to government a USD 250,000 to MMPRC cashflow and then at the discussions held at Adheeb's private offices in the ADK building and also in Millennium Capital the winning formula of USD 250-500,000 as "contribution to the party" is offered. Adheeb is known to have quoted that he has offered such deals to the top resort operators in the Maldives and therefore believes he has immunity.

    Further it is also a common practise within MMPRC to issue blank cheques on a daily basis without any regard for accounting and transparency. Cheques were issued at the specific request of Minister Adheeb and cashflow of MMPRC has been used to conduct private business transactions of Mr.Adheeb as outlined by the Auditor General in his report.

    Mr.Adheeb's MPL transaction was primarily to raise finance for a resort development he has been pursuing since his days working with Gulf Craft hamid (a relative of Adheeb) at Millennium capital. Hamid won several bids during Maumoon and Nasheed's presidency, however, failed to develop any resort due to funding. Adheeb has also facilitated Hamid to secure resort properties through cancellation of non-performing tourism contracts (given during the transportation scheme) as soon as he stepped into the ministerial post.

    Further Adheeb has also taken numerous bribes and kick backs from tourism industry leaders, and foreign tourism investors, and in particular Ong Bang Seng. He is known to maintain an account in UOB bank in Singapore and deposited huge sums in cash while he spends his holiday weekends at the penthouse suite in Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

    Adheeb can best be classified as the Iliyas of today. A right hand man to the president, highly influential, fingers in all the honey pots, mysteriously rich way beyond his civil service pay. But the Maldivian people are from a culture that endorses this type of behaviour from senior government officials and they do not see this as a violation of their rights. They would still prefer to hold corrupt officials such as Adheeb in high regard rather than call out for his immediate and unconditional resignation. That is the sad state of our society at this point in time in our history. Perhaps in time to come, we will look back at this person as one of the most corrupt and almost barbaric civil servant who came to the post in the name of serving the public and purely used his position for personal gain with total disregard to the welfare and well-being of his fellow people.

    (1) A thief enters a shop, steals a TV, gives it to his dad, they watch movies together, then returns it after 12 months and says i didn't steal anything! nothing is lost!

    (2) MMPRC (under Ministry of Tourism) takes money from MPL, lends it to Adheeb's dad's company, they use the money and return back to MPL and says we didn't steal anything. nothing is lost!

    (1) The difference between adheeb and the thief - To date Adheeb has still not returned the money he took. He has only returned part of it. The balance is still in the family company and they are doing business with it and profiting privately as we write these articles and comments!

    (2) The difference between the thief and state owned companies - The thief actually stole it without knowledge of the owner of the shop - MPL and MMPRC in charge of public money have facilitated a day light robbery through blindly obvious corruption.

  5. Adeeb and Nazim are gonna fight it out to the last man. On the public front Adeeb is very present and able to act very well compared to the introvert Nazim. The score behind the scenes is something unknown. Let the best man win and hope that man will somehow end up providing some sort of benefit to us little folk.

  6. Interestingly, the old legands of corruptions are now looking like rookies..

    Now in the age of information, internet and Minivann news, there is a new breed. They have their twin degrees to lend credentials as non-thiefs, and slick marketing with media friendlydly style... they are networked with gangs and daring

    Adeeb, Abdulla Ziyath etc.. are this new generation that seems to be a challnge to less media freindly Nazim of the previous generation.

    The process of corruption seems to be evolving with new technology and methods.

  7. I thought sharia law is implemented in maldives, then why don't they cut adheeb hand??

  8. Both Adheeb and Nasheed must be charged for corruption .

    Why only Adheeb when Nasheed had taken over 50 millions dollars cut from GMR deal.


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