Allegations of STO’s blackmarket oil deals with Burma “politically motivated”: Gayoom

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has lashed out at comments made by the Presidential Commission yesterday that top-level officials from the former administration were involved in blackmarket oil deals with the Burmese military junta.

The allegations were first published in India’s The Week magazine on Friday. In the article, CNN-IBN Chief National Correspondent Sumon K Chakrabarti described Gayoom’s half brother and former STO Chairman Abdulla Yameen as “the kingpin” of a scheme to buy subsidised oil through the State Trading Organisation’s branch in Singapore and sell it on through an entity called ‘Mocom Trading’ to the Burmese military junta, at a black market premium.

The article, which has since been published on the magazine’s website, also claimed that Singaporean police were investigating the incidence of shipping fraud linked to STO Singapore. It drew heavily from a draft report from forensic accountancy firm Grant Thorton, commissioned by the Maldives government to investigate financial records on three hard drives pertaining to STO Singapore’s operations.

Gayoom has claimed that the allegations by the Presidential Commission were politically motivated. Newspaper Haveeru reported Gayoom as distancing himself from the STO, quoting the former President as saying that “I [had] no connections with the STO when I was the president and after that.

“STO has a board and a Chairman that oversee all the operations of the company. I never [got] involved in the matters of STO. The company will reveal its annual financial report at its General Meeting every year and discuss on the matters [raised in the report],” Haveeru reported Gayoom as saying.

“The commission is trying to tarnish my reputation because of the support given to me by the residents of the islands and the success DRP achieved in the local council election,” he reportedly added.

Yameen dismissed the allegations as “absolute rubbish” following the publication of Chakrabarti’s original story in The Week.

He acknowledged using the STO to send funds to his children in Singapore during his time as chairman, but denied doing so money following his departure from the organisation.

“After I left, I did not do it. In fact I did not do it 3 to4 years before leaving the STO. I used telegraphic transfer,” he told Minivan News.

Yameen also denied being under investigation by the Singaporean police.

Asked to confirm whether the STO Singapore had been supplying fuel to Myanmar during his time as chair of the board, “it could have been – Myanmar, Vietnam, the STO is an entrepreneurial trade organisation. It trades [commodities like] oil, cement, sugar, rice to places in need. It’s perfectly legitimate. “

In a subsequent interview with VTV’s ‘Fas Manzaru’ program, Yameen acknowledged flying to Burma during a period when the STO faced a rice shortage, “a very long time ago.” He had not visited in the past 16 years, he said.

“Perhaps this government is afraid that with my supposed Myanmar military links, I might bring over weapons from that country and overthrow this [Maldivian] government. But I have to say that those military officials in the Burmese government are ones I have never met. I don’t even know them,” Yameen told VTV.

He also announced that he was “ready to offer anyone 90 percent” of the alleged US$800 million in laundered money cited by The Week article, “if they locate it for me.”

“I only want 10 percent. If I get US$800 million now, 10 percent of that will suffice for me. Even if I get around US$80 million dollars, it will be enough for me,” Yameen said.

“Therefore this time for anyone who helps locate this [money], I am ready to hand over 90 percent of all that into the finder’s name.”

Yameen called on police to investigate the matter alongside previous allegations in the Indian press that President Nasheed had consumed alcohol.

“I welcome investigation. But if investigations are being done, then it should also be investigated when an Indian newspaper publishes such defamatory material against the President,” Yameen said.

The Presidential Commission has meanwhile stated that details of the alleged racketeering would be disclosed on conclusion of the investigation, in collaboration “with international parties”.

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32 thoughts on “Allegations of STO’s blackmarket oil deals with Burma “politically motivated”: Gayoom”

  1. This is a good story for minivan to keep spinning and publishing until 2013 presidential elections.

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  2. Why can't you people just keep me out of all these dirt and mud slinging.

    You think, I went to Dhoonidhoo and kill Evan Naseem, I have no hand in that.

    You think I threw feces at inmate in Jail, NO I didn't do it, neither did Adam Zahir.

    You think I went to Junta country to sell oil, no I did not, neither did my little brother Yameen.

    I am not a moron, you people are, Why don't you morons just leave me alone?

    I never ruled your country for thirty years. I am fed up of ruling, I really don't want to become the president of your damn country ever again.

    I am the Holy Saint Zaeem, Just butt out. Thasmeen and Dr. Hassan belong to St. Valentine. I am not jealous, just because Thas got a better looking boy than I, I'll never ever work under him ever.

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  3. One more thing, I never stole from FPID and I'll never believe it was my wife's brother Illiyas Ibrahim who did stole, either.

    Just prove it.

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  4. This guy even wants a 10% cut off the imaginary money that he claims he hasn't stolen!

    Not helping with the whole 'credibility' thing, mister.

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  5. Incredible response from these two power hungry financially greedy siblings. If this is total rubbish why are they so keen to defend themselves???

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  6. I got this tweet, political reform installation

    Tunisia- completed
    Egypt -completed
    Algeria - Processing
    Yemen -Processing
    Plastine- Virus detected.

    I want add to the list

    Maldives - Corrupted files

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  7. If Yamin can tell us how much he has stolen so that we can figure out if the 10% is worth the search.

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  8. Why does these corruption cases falare up a regular intervals. Why cant the Riyaasee Commission do a more professional job. We 'The People' want justice and accountability to whoever has mishandled our wealth. We only 2 people these days. Where are the others. Ilyas Ibrahim, Ambaree, Adam Zahir, Ahmed Abdulla, Abdulla Hameed, Red Wave Saleem and so on. Are we ignoring them and going only after these 2?
    Present Govt is wasting too much of valuable time. We need to go forward. Please stop these political stunts which Govt lacks experience and so far every such stunts has failed and got themselves embarassed.

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  9. President Nasheed's regime is also probably involved - why else would the regime continue to keep Muneez as the head of STO Singapore office after reports of such wrongdoing. The name of our country has been used by these dirtbags for fraud. I hear oil producers give quotas to countries and it is only with government involvement that the quota could be obtained and maintained.

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  10. Yaameen has admitted that he stole 800 million and has offered 90% to the ppl who find it! Golhaaboa should accept that he stole and destroyed our nation's future, the money he embezzled could have:

    1. built better hospitals so that we dont have to go abroad for medical care. So many ppl die each year in Maldives because of lack of Medical services
    2. not beg Indhira Gandhi to make IGMH, he could have even made Golhaaboa Memorial
    3. Build our University long time ago
    4. Housing
    5. Ports
    6. etc etc etc

    Maumoon is definitely one of the most evil dictators of this this century

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  11. I think its more important to bring elements of the Anni government (eg. Reeko) to justice. After all we over-threw the previous regime so that we don't have to give power to corrupt elements like Yameen.

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  12. @ rinzy - yes, Muneez is till the head of STO Singapore. Abdulla Saeed Kottey (cabinet secretary) is the chairman. The thing is only the boss changed. The robbery is still going on. otherwise why on earth are they keeping the proven corrupt people like muneez, sana mansoor, and others at STO?

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  13. This is a very story. Yaameen cannot show monthly transfers to his kids in Singapore. He is a big liar. The money was paid by Muniz at Singapore from an account where Yaameen's shares were kept. Gayoom was also aware of this because he himself used funds from this account.

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  14. Yamin is so confident that nobody will ever find his scheme. But it will be found sooner or later. It has always been so obvious... that how he could be so rich on his ministerial income...??

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  15. Moyamoon on Mon, 14th Feb 2011 9:33 PM -- heheh very true. they never even touched FPID money. How come people blame such innocent truthful souls, of such wrong doings. These are angels sent from above. Zaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemmmmmmm...

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  16. HassanK on Tue, 15th Feb 2011 12:00 PM - reallyy...people need to wonder and think how these fools got so rich on ministerial salary. And they never even did any business, yet they own luxary yatchs , properties abroad, cars etc......angels from above reallyy...

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  17. An audit of STO Singapore was done as soon as Anni came to power. Maybe they found no proof of wrongdoing. Despite the audit results many including some STO Board members did not believe that STO Singapore was clean. They suspected a cover up.

    Isnt it amazing that senior STO Singapore staff such as Muneez still remain in their posts today despite the suspicions. Now the truth is coming out. Is this good governance that Anni talks about. Have we run out of decent people. Just like in the past is it only a thief who is qualified and deserves to head all public enterprises.

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  18. @ Rinzy - sorey is chariman of STO. But as far as I know kottey abdulla Saeed is the chairman of STO singapore. Muneez is still there at STO singapore doing what he learned to do so well over the past 20 years. The only difference is that now he is doing it for different bosses.

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  19. DO NOT WAIT for justice to be brought to Yamin, or else it will never happen.

    Fight for it!

    I'll repeat something here where it can be read.

    I don’t know anyone from Maldives who does not know Yamin is an evil, ruthless tyrant, don’t stop pushing to bring justice to him.

    The Government won’t or can’t do it. The reason for that is unclear. I wonder what back room deals have gone on and or who MDP is trying to protect, some sort of mutual blackmail is at work I suspect such as, if MDP, you charge us for such and such we PA DRP will charge you for such and such.

    It Seems a little bit of we’ll allow you to have free and fair elections so long as you don’t witch hunt us going on as well. It is up to the ppl of Maldives to cause such a headache for the Government through protest that they have to get rid of Yameen as the consequences for not doing so have to be proven to be worse than the consequences for doing so.

    You can come out with photos of Yameen murdering someone for example and Government still won’t act UNTIL the masses push Gov. to act.

    I repeat.

    DO NOT WAIT for justice to be brought to Yamin, or else it will never happen. Fight for it!

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  20. @ Thoha Yaseen

    "proven corrupt people like..."? What a dumb comment. Just because names are linked to an evil person's dirty dealings doesnt mean its proven the named personnel are guilty. There could be a whole lot of a big set up linked up... who knows? An investigation is being made by the Riyaasee commission.. so wait and see before slinging mud!

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  21. @DO NOT WAIT - If what you say is true we should first serve justice to the government before before taking action against anyone else. After all we elected the government into power so we should hold them accountable first before going after others.

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  22. Presidential commission is back, from what rock did Haseen crawl under from, such a waste of my time and intelliegence reading this, with the corrupt governemnt we were unfortunate to get through democracy, nothing will come from this.

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  23. These people has swallowed all our wealth for thirty so years.They(families of former corrupted government) all had luxury life that no othter Maldivian has ever thought of. Of course any man will fight back not to loose such a wealth.But the truth is man has limited time to enjoy this worldly life.No matter how hard you try the end is right in-front of you.No Maldivians will give any dam shit about those hell bent,hell fires.Get rid of them form this society.No matter who the hell are they !!!Give me a fuckin gun to finish the fuckin job!!!No need of too much blaa,blaa....ok...

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  24. Why was Yaamin using the STO to send funds to his children in Singapore? Is this legal? Wouldn't this be the same as former Auditor General using his office credit card to buy personal stuff?

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  25. @DO NOT WAIT

    You're absolutely right and spot on. Both sides are blackmailing each other. There are certain characters in the MDP camp who have a shady past to hide. As long as they remain inside MDP, the government won't be able to go after the ex-regime's crooks either. It's a stalemate really.

    From time to time, we hear about such and such an investigation, which do not amount to anything but rumour. No one has so far being able to prove a case of single Rufiyaa that was embezzled. This is quite astonishing given the widely known scale of embezzlement during the time of Gayyoom.

    Take Jangiyaa Nazim. The guy built himself up from a total base of embezzling in public funds, which started the day he got employment at STELCO!

    Why can't we bring them to justice. Simply because there's no trail left. The crooks have either destroyed whatever trail there was or simply the former regime just didn't have any checks in place which meant, both small and large scale embezzlement was the norm.

    This also explains why there's so much support for the shady leaders of DRP. Those who benefited from the lax administration of Gayyoom's regime want that back, so they can continue to keep their fingers in the cookie jar!

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  26. Such talk by Gayoom only proves that he is delusional or totally out of touch..

    He is right ofcourse - it is also politically motivated and that is no secret. So why say the obvious to the nation? May be he assumes people are still idiots and should be told the truth - which only he is able to understand. Once of the defining characteristics of Maumoon is saying very obvious things in a smooth tone of voice.. hopeless case..

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  27. By the way if ACC found Raa Moosa guilty of corruption, can he hold the so called Minority leader lagabu, and boast every where he goes even then.

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  28. @facts on - your comment is so ludicrous. by the same token the argument should hold in the case of Gayoom and yaamin too. Their case is also not proven in a court of law. So its all about mud slinging. Mud slinging doesnt work one way you, nincompoop!

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  29. Yes! Everything is really true. Still those ppl who were stealing our money heads STO. Now Manik (Maumoon regime MD of STO) is on the news, with the US Dollar scandal. It is true that those companies which he lent millions of ruffiyas in exchange of Dollars has his own interest on them. Even rumored that his wife own shares of some of these companies. Its a public secret that the guy who vanished with millions of Ruffiyas given in exchange of Dollars, owns Safaris and is openly involved in businesses in Maldives.

    With regard to the directors of Mocom, who are still in higher ranks in STO, continues to steal our wealth just the same as before. It was rumored that the Human Resources Department MD, recently went to Japan on a Japanese Aid training program which the Japanese concerned Authorities bear all the costs involved. But this Lady took over Rf100,000 as expenses relating to this trip from STO budget. Better to raise this issue in STOs coming AGM. The other Lady who is the CFO, is always bias with her employees and do discuss all the personal issues of staff with a lower level employee in her section. Her professionalism is in doubt. Even Failures are appointed as Managers despite availability of employees who are in TOP CIMA level.

    Things never change.

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