Cabinet decision not a green light for Nexbis project, says Immigration Controller

Cabinet’s decision last week to review the stalled Nexbis project did not necessarily mean it was going ahead, said Immigration Controller Abdulla Shahid today.

The Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement with the Malaysian-based mobile security solutions provider was to upgrade border security in the Maldives and facilitate the identification and tracking of expatriate workers without the use of potentially-forged paper documents.

However the day after the October 2010 signing of the concessionaire contract, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) announced it had received “a serious complaint” regarding “technical details” of the bid, and issued an injunction pending an investigation into the agreement citing “instances and opportunities” where corruption may have occurred.

Nexbis shares immediately plunged 6.3 percent on the back of the ACC’s announcement. The company subsequently issued a statement claiming that speculation over corruption was “politically motivated” and had “wrought irreparable damage to Nexbis’ reputation and brand name.”

“Nexbis’ shareholders own and manage multi-trillion dollar assets globally and will not jeopardise their reputation for an investment return,” the company said at the time.

Shahid said today that following the Cabinet decision the Immigration Department would be “looking into the ACC’s concerns and negotiating with Nexbis.”

“Cabinet did not say the project would proceed, but have announced that it would be reviewed. The ACC’s initial position was that the project would be re-tendered with the consent of Cabinet.”

Shahid acknowledge threats of legal action from Nexbis, but observed there was “nothing we can do on this issue – it was the ACC that intervened.”

He predicted that it would be “some time” before the review was completed.

Local media has claimed that key technical components, such as facial recognition, were missing from the project.

Minivan News is currently seeking comment from Nexbis.


18 thoughts on “Cabinet decision not a green light for Nexbis project, says Immigration Controller”

  1. [However the day after the October 2010 signing of the concessionaire contract, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) announced it had received “a serious complaint” regarding “technical details”]

    What is the 'serious' complaint and what are the technical details ?
    Who made the complaint?
    When can they conclude the investigation?
    Who were involved in the Nexbis deal?
    Is the ACC politically influenced?

    The above are important questions since the allegations are serious...

    Since Minivan does not/can't operate like other news outlets with their tabloidy racy reporting, maybe you can differentiate yourselves by providing researched analysis rather than just reporting the "news".

  2. The details of the complaint may be available.

    To my understanding, the identity of the complainant can be kept secret.

    Minivan really needs to look at what the statutory, legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks are for the investigatory procedures of the ACC.

    To my knowledge, the contracting parties are the Government of the Republic of Maldives and Nexbis.

    Whether the ACC is politically motivated would be only answerable by speculation of the kind that "racy tabloids" would indulge in.

  3. So, we have a corrupt Anti-Corruption Commission! Maldives breaks yet another world record. Way to go, guys.

    It strikes me as absurd that a single authority has absolute power to totally wreck multilateral agreements. They don't even have to give a reason!

    What's the need for Courts? Surely, it'd be far easier to have an Anti-Fornication Commission, Anti-Alcohol Commission, Anti-Theft Commission etc. You get the picture? Each one can intervene and put a stop to the respective infractions.

    We should take the ACC as a model and go forward (or is that backward)?

  4. Having thought about what I said earlier, actually the equivalent of our Anti-Corruption Commission does exist elsewhere.

    It's known as the "Mutawwa" in Saudi Arabia! Yep, they can intervene anytime, without so much as an explanation.

  5. MDP and its cronies yet again actively promoting corruption and hindering legal proceedings...Its evident on this website by comments from die hard MDP brainwashed people.

  6. The very model of all anti-corruption bodies include a wide and far-reaching degree of powers to intervene in State actions.

    If we do not wish corruption to be investigated then we might as well scrap the ACC and proceed therefrom.

    This is a new phenomenon though - individuals holding no interest in Government getting angered by investigation of corruption (or is my assumption of no-interest wrong?)

  7. huh Saudi Arabia and anti-corruption, what a joke! hahaha...

  8. ACC requires the size of laws that is compatible to the size and situation of the country....Now what's happening is like a dhoni of 10 feet with 10000 HP engine...hahahahha

  9. @ naju

    "... a dhoni of 10 feet with 10000 HP engine."
    Now, that requires translation.

  10. I can tell what the cabinet's decision would be: To go ahead with the project for there is no corruption involved in issuing the project to Nexbis.

    I am thining this would be the repeat story of Moosa's Heavyload project.

    If the cabinet an over rule ACC's decisions, whats the point of having the ACC? Why not dissolve the ACC and ask the cabinet to carry out its mandate?

    May be its me, but I think this country is governed in a funny way.

  11. On the 11th hour of signing, the ACC intervenes citing an anonymous complaint alleging possible corruption. During the 8 months since, no specific allegations against any persons involved has been made public, neither has the investigation been concluded.

    This long drawn investigation and the lack of credible information thus far says more about the ACC than about the parties it purports to investigate.

    The citizens are the govt in a democratic country - it is not just their right, but it is their responsibility to know what's happening (even if the Right to Information bill languishes in a parliamentary committee) in order to make a decision at the ballot box.

    It is a disservice to the citizens if the arbiters between them and the govt are working for the benefit of a third party.

    Political corruption in the investigation of political corruption. Now that would be a new phenomenon indeed!

  12. so, what is going to happen now? we are not going to have a boarder control system because of ACC's decision? that is a hefty price to pay for the law enforcement authorities and also the citizens of this country.

  13. I thought that the Anti Corruption Commission is supposed to send all cases of fraud and corruption that they identify to the courts? Can Minivan find out for us if this case has been sent to the PG Office for trial and if corruption has indeed been established in this case?

  14. why should it be a problem if the anti corruption guys look into something? If they have an issue it should be followed up.

    I do get the feeling it could have been handled a lot better though. Although mentioning that Nexbis have trillions of dollars of assets is just meaningless, are we to cower and shrivel with fear? Where is the central issue?

  15. @Skeptical Inquirer- Exactly, if they have an issue they must follow up. If there is no issue they must step back. Due diligence, not arbitrary hijacking of a govt process.

    Nexbis does not have trillions in assets, their "shareholders" do, pls see their statement.

    The central "issue" is their reputation and the 6.3% plunge in their share price when word got around that the Maldivian ACC was investigating possible corruption in their dealings here.

    We must not cower and shrivel with fear, we are sure our ACC can present clear evidence of corruption (or possible corruption) in any libel suit against them, right? 🙂

    However a suit is unlikely, not the best publicity for a company, suing potential customers.

  16. I read on the Malaysian news paper a few weeks back that Nexbis had gone to court in several countries against Abdulla Shahid and other individuals as well as the ACC for defamation which caused the company millions. So most likely not long before we see one of them getting arrested while traveling abroad. In countries like in Europe and other Asian countries ACC would not dare speak anything against any company without evidence because companies can take the ACC to court for defamation.

    I guess Maldives is going to learn this the hard way. 😉

  17. Shahid is manipulating the issue. He tried his best to terminate the agreement when he took office. His suggestion went up to AG. AG approved the contract before signing therefore AG wanted Shahid to get final word from the Cabinet since it was risky to slap on the face of investors coming in to the country just for the sake of some people interest. Cabinet did not discuss the review. It was again Shahid pushing thru President Office the word REVIEW came. There was 10 ministers in that sitting si Shahid can not hide the fact. Even today Shahid is saying he will make sure the contract is terminated because the Informatics have said such a system can get for USD.9 million n he wantbto give to them? It's almost ONE month to cabinet decission to continue agreement but Shahid refusing to meet NEXBIS either to so called REVIEW or suggestions. So? Shahis is taking advantage of ACC uncompleted initial report to sabotage the contract thinking he can make some money from Informatics with the help of Adam Naseer and Ibrahim Waheed who within the DoIE tried to sabotage this contract . Why can't ACC come with final report since Oct. 2010? What's wrong with us?

  18. In Maldives with present system of governing it is better the Government send all there projects, RFP and a draft contract for each project to ACC who then can guide the Government to make those documents more professional . Once ACC approves then the Government can sent it to Finance Ministry for Tender! Thilafishi project with Heavy load is moving on but ACC doesn't get an injunction from the court to stop work because ACC don't have such proof to convince courts otherwise. Good luck to all


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