“Come clean” on Grant Thorton’s US$10 million penalty fee, MDP tells AG Shakoor

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has asked Attorney-General Azima Shakoor to “come clean” over a US$10 million invoice from accountancy group Grant Thorton, contending that the charge was a result of the present government prematurely terminating its investigation.

In a statement released today, the MDP contested claims made by Attorney General Shakoor to local news outlets that her office received two invoices totalling US$358,000 and £4.6 million from Grant Thorton. Shakoor claimed that the charges were for legal advice provided to the MDP government, for which it had not even received a report.

She made the comments at a press conference held on Sunday after documents were leaked revealing that President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s government spent £75,000 (MVR 1.81 million) on advice from former UK Attorney General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, prompting opposition criticism against the spending.

She said similar legal advice had  been sought previously and specifically pointed out the Grant Thorton agreement.

The ousted former President Mohamed Nasheed tasked the UK-based accountancy group to uncover large amounts of state funds allegedly embezzled during Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 30 year-old rule, several of which were flagged in the state’s audit reports.

Attacking the attorney general’s claims, the MDP claimed that the terms of engagement contracted with the UK forensic investigators was “not on a contingent fee basis” and instead, government had agreed to pay the fee as a percentage of the proceeds of the stolen assets that were recovered.

“This type of fee was used because a fee-paying engagement would have been too expensive,” the MDP contended.  “However, given that the firm was not charging any fees, the engagement letter that was signed between the GOM and GT included a penalty clause in the event the investigation was unreasonably stopped by the government.”

Under these circumstances, the party said, the penalty would include retroactive charges for the work done by the GT but also a fine for not proceeding towards a full recovery.

“Thus the invoice for the penalty fees was submitted to the government last month when the government decided to close the investigation rather than continue with the criminal and civil complaints that had been lodged in Singapore Courts,” the statement reads.

The MDP also contended the US$10 million penalty was a “small price” to pay in order to suspend the civil and criminal proceedings reportedly underway in Singapore over a suspected illegal oil trade worth US$800 million, which was allegedly undertaken by Abdulla Yameen – Gayoom’s half-brother – while he was the head of state-owned State Trading Organisation (STO). The scheme was alleged to involve the purchase of subsidised oil through the STO in Singapore, which was sold on through an entity called ‘Mocom Trading’ to the Burmese military junta, at a black market premium.

Yameen however has denied these allegations.

Nasheed’s Presidential Commission on corruption, which had been charged with investigating the STO case was disbanded – one of incoming President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s first acts in power.

Meanwhile, MDPs spokesperson for international affairs has also pointed out that Grant Thorton’s investigators have not submitted a full report because they might decide to litigate in UK courts to recover the US$10 million in penalty fees.

“I believe that GT has not submitted a full report on what it uncovered in stolen assets by the members of the dictatorship because they might want to litigate in UK courts to recover the penalty fees. Clearly, the work undertaken by GT revealed the illegal monies embezzled through the Mocom scam and the existence of secret offshore companies owned by members of the former dictatorship,” Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said in the statement.

“A criminal complaint was ready for filing in Singapore courts in February when the coup d’etat intervened,” he added, alleging that: “the old boys are back in power and the money swindling operations are ready to take off again.”

Following the controversial transfer of power on February 7, 2012 that saw the ousting of President Nasheed’s government, the case fell silent – despite the matter having been forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s office a week earlier, according to MDP.

However, the Prosecutor General Office confirmed the office had not received the illegal oil trade case for prosecution from the former government and therefore no one had been charged.

Attorney General Shakoor was not responding to calls at time of press.

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11 thoughts on ““Come clean” on Grant Thorton’s US$10 million penalty fee, MDP tells AG Shakoor”

  1. Azima you still cannot buy a shoe for $1,000 because Anni spent $10,000 to investigate how the shoe factory went bankrupt.

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  2. Once again this shows how little regard the present Government has for it's people. Every one knows how corrupt Maumoon's regime was. People in Maldives deserves to know the truth about the allegations of embezzlement of State Funds by the alleged people in power then. This is 800 million dollar worth of State Funds and Nasheed's Government had every right to investigate the case and expose the perpetrators and bring them to justice. As expected the present Government of Waheed dare not investigate the case any further as he is basically a puppet of the perpetrators.

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  3. President puppet waheed - shame on you . His masters are organized criminals and the puppet has to dance according to the pulsh and pull of the strings. The criminals are enjoying the show but the poor citizens suffer . Well done Mr Puppet

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  4. Corruption spans all governments here. Air Maldives, STO - muringu Ismail Sadiq, resignation of anni, MSL MNSML, Nexbiz, GMR, Burma oil, machchafushi- sarangu Adam Manik, thilafushi-Reeko Moosa, etc.

    But topping it all is the worlds biggest confidence trick of all. Religion. The whole country is being held hostage here.

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  5. Well you voted for them.

    Errr,,, hang on a minute, no one did, the police did !

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  6. this makes no sense. If there was concrete substance and evidence why did Anni himself pull back the case from Singapore court ?

    If Anni was confident and the UK firm GT had enough evidence of this robbery, why did Anni and GT did not proceed with the case and wait for such a long time and why it had to wait till July 2012.

    Why didn't MDP or G.T not highlighted this to public when the present Government terminated the contract and why did they waited for such a long period of time.

    For me this is just a twisted story and the evidence is that the Government does not have the proper contract that was signed by between GT and Maldives ?

    Why all these deals are done under the table and why proper documentation are not in place ? Look at GMR deal? That was another doggy deal.

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  7. Unfathomably deep are the dark abodes of hatred in the Sons of the Ranumaari Jiini's who control the Maldives. Every value of Maldivian Brotherhood, Sisterhood, is dessolated in their dreadful wake. In the eyes of their slaves, they are the bearers of the sacred duty of Justice.

    Yet these men are the bearers of a far darker destiny than the Merciful Cause they claim to represent. They are the bearers of the Sacrilegious darkness of abomination, the antithesis of being, terror itself.

    Angelic, serene and wise is the technocratic veneer of the puppet Waheed and his cabinet. The liberal facade hides something which is so chillingly evil, that when the Dhivehin finally behold the true face of the Master they have sacrificed their future for, they will weep for Mercy and grovel about in the ground like wounded rodents, as the gangsters grind them to a pulp in their tempestous lust for blood.

    Their fury, the lust for vengeance which engulfs their hearts, is a furnace which rages hotter than the heart of hellfire.

    This is the reason that Anni is a disturbed, anxious, angry, defiant man. He, and many others with him, had been burnt by the furnace of the Dragon! They too have become carriers of that flame of vengeance. They are truly warriors of the spirit world, MEN and Women of Valour who had dared to stare into the hellbound eyes behind the compassionate masks of the demagogues, and they are wounded for life by the pain they had glimpsed.

    Yes, they saw into the soul of power whilst in prison. It is the soul revealed in the most brutal torture. It is revealed in the cold malice of a will to power so devouring, that it is capable of removing ones parents from an innocent child in a manner most violent, breaking the heart and soul of an innocent child so that this child is irrepairably sacrred for life with anxiety.

    Waheed, be a Just man, stop feeding the monster who lifts you up, as, when the monster comes out, YOU will be its first meal. You will be savaged in the jaws of a monster who had waited for years to satisy the ravages of hunger for blood which have been building for years!

    Waheed, you have been used by the monsters to wound the MDP, now if you do not contain the monster NOW, you will be DOOMED!

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  8. " “A criminal complaint was ready for filing in Singapore courts in February when the coup d’etat intervened,” he added, alleging that: “the old boys are back in power and the money swindling operations are ready to take off again.”

    Following the controversial transfer of power on February 7, 2012 that saw the ousting of President Nasheed’s government, the case fell silent – despite the matter having been forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s office a week earlier, according to MDP. "

    This is the sole reason why this coup was brought about - believe it or prove it or not!

    And yet these people want to come back to do more!

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  9. one time MDP is saying it was completed and was supposed to submit on 7th Feb.

    Then some MDP member is saying it is on going ?

    Some says that it had gone to arbitration court in Singapore?

    What I am clear is that it had taken three years and still these Yameen and other were not been able to arrest ?

    I think that Anni is afraid of doing that because he know that he had also robbed equal amount of money from the government when he was ruling this country.

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