Corruption trial of Deputy Speaker postponed to November: Criminal Court

The Criminal Court of the Maldives has postponed the trial of Deputy Leader of the People’s Alliance (PA) and Deputy Speaker of the parliament MP Ahmed Nazim to November this year.

A statement from the Criminal Court said the delay in the trial, which began earlier this year, was caused by a “lack of information and necessary documents from the Home Ministry.”

The Criminal Court said it had now received the necessary pending document and that the trial would resume on November 9.

The Criminal Court attempted to summon Nazim in July, however he was being held in police custody and failed to receive the summons, the statement said, adding that it was only able to hold two of the scheduled five hearings.

In May last year police raided Nazim’s office, seizing a number of documents and hard drives as part of a special operation to investigate allegations of corruption.

In August last year, police concluded investigation into corruption charges concerning the former Atolls Ministry and sent five cases to the prosecutor general’s office.

On conclusion of the investigation, police charged former Atolls Minister Abdulla Hameed and Nazim with corruption, with Chief Inspector Ismail Atheef alleging that numerous quotations, agreements, tender documents, receipts, bank statements and cheques had been forged, and that Nazim had personally benefitted from over US$400,000 in fraudulent transactions.

Police investigations  focused on three main points in the ministry’s audit report for 2007 and 2008: the purchase of mosque sound systems for over US$138,000; the purchase of 15,000 national flags for over US$110,000; and the purchase of 220 harbour lights at a cost of over US$151,000 from businesses with close ties to Nazim.

According to Atheef, Eydhafushi MP Ahmed ‘Redwave’ Saleem, who was director of finance at the ministry at the time, actively assisted the scam.

Saleem has now joined the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

“In these cases, money laundering was involved,” Chief Inspector Ismail Atheef told Minivan News last year.

“I wouldn’t say money from these transactions was directly deposited to the accounts of Abdulla Hameed or Ahmed Saleem.’’

Police claimed Hameed played a key role in the fraud by handing out bids without public announcements, making advance payments using cheques against the state asset and finance regulations, and approving bid documents for unregistered companies and discriminatory treatment of bid applicants.

The first two cases of the ministry’s audit report reported by police revealed similar fraudulent transactions to purchase 150 harbour lights for over US$157,000 and the purchase of 15,000 national flags worth US$110,000.

Nazim has previously pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the former ministry.

During a hearing in March, State Prosecutor Abdullah Rabiu said Nazim was Managing Director of Namira Engineering and Trading Pvt Ltd when the company’s equipment and staff were used to create fake letterheads and submit proposals on behalf of unregistered companies.

More recently in July this year, Nazim and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa were arrested on suspicion of bribing MPs and a civil court judge, however Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed ruled that there were no reasonable grounds to grant an extension of the MPs’ detention based on the evidence presented by police.

“Both of them were arrested last night on charges of bribing a civil court judge. According to the information we have, they offered US$6,000 and a two-way ticket for a trip abroad, and exerted influence on a civil court case,” claimed the police lawyer in court.


14 thoughts on “Corruption trial of Deputy Speaker postponed to November: Criminal Court”

  1. How can money be laundered in a country that does not have an active tax system?

    And since Redwave Saleem has joined MDP, he's obviously not going to be prosecuted as well huh?

  2. Salim, why would not RedWave Saleem be prosecuted? Just because he joined MDP, it does not mean that the pending criminal charges against him would be dropped. The Prosecutor General is an independent branch and his office decides on matters regarding state prosecutions. It's just wrong for you to claim that Saleem would not be brought to justice just because he has a coalition with MDP.

  3. @Salim Waheed

    What has "an active tax system" got to do with money laundering. Maybe I'm missing something fundamental here.

    Money laundering has many different forms. Someone makes money from illegal means and then turns them into 'clean' money. Obviously in Jangiyaa's case, most of his money came from illegal means. He has since cleaned up the whole lot and turned them into property here and abroad and other substantial assets.

    That has nothing to do with the tax system.

  4. The serious question we need to ask is, what has changed since this administration took charge? Unless someone change the full system with rigorous regulation, instead of Namira now it will be Heavy Load or F Tech medicals or MVK . And anti corruption commission will keep on issuing statements and the government will be doing what they want.

    Focusing too much on the parliament is like giving a free meal to the executives of state owned enterprises. Seems like its part of the strategic plan of the government to divert attention of the public.

    It would be foolish to expect that anything will change for the better unless the incumbent has his share of the cake. After all hes human and its human nature.

  5. Police : you are stupid puppets. But of course as like all others, you'd claimyou are see-all, know-all etc. I say stupid, because you are laying most of your trump card on the table far too soon. I say a puppet, because you know what you have is not enough, but because you have been instructed to play the game anyway, by your arrogant boss.

    Nazim is like an octopus. Tentacles will reach deep into the power centers. I would be very surprised, if you can nail him on anything substantial. Sure you can still nail him on crossing the road unconstitutionally, if he does not use zebra-cross.

    I knew Nazim, from Majeedhiya/SEC Gr4>Gr12. Even then, the chances of anyone crossing his path and getting away unscathed from his cunning schemes was just a lucky chance. 8 out of 10 were victims.

    Since then, he has cultivated and perfected his skills to razor sharpness and now tapped into power brokers.

    In a place where constitution is fraught with holes capable of shipping liners to pass through smoothly, and corruption was/is the basis for almost everything, any lawyers or police trying to nab Nazim, will have to do it unconstitutionally. Using unchartered methods.

    Wish you good luck.

  6. salim... maybe you need to check what money laundering is. In the US it is defined as- In US law, money laundering is the practice of engaging in financial transactions to conceal the identity, source, or destination of illegally gained money. (wiki)

    one does not need a tax system to launder money.

  7. A people get the government they desire and they deserve. Everybody wants to get rich and nobody minds how. How else can 71 members of parliament, elected directly by the people, accountable to nobody, beholden to nobody,living off salaries 120,000 rufiya a month, daily, repeatedly and on live tv call Nazim "Honourable Speaker"? Have they no shame? Has Nazim got no shame? Have we all got no shame?

  8. How do we determine corruptions, by dollar value or by incidents or by the party. As Salim pointed out, Saleem has taken refuge from prosecution and that was the only reason why he did that. Why else? When you talk about Namira, what about Heavy Load & MVK or to that matter Mr Saragey and Keeko Moosa (Reeko) who have openly claimed they have moved MPs from one side to the other. Why are they harrasing Nazim for something that everyone is doing openly now. Is it not because he is in the wrong camp and away from the street king.

  9. Active Tax System can only be figured out by someone who had done an undergrad course in Teaching English as a second language in Stanford University. I mean this Salim man, wot on earth is he talking about???

  10. All this, including some comments stink!

    Why is this court delaying hearing when when the poor are suffering?

    The court better find where our money is and return to our coffers!

    Under normal circumstances it would be a disgrace to have a corrupt and criminal member representing the peoples of a constituency!

    Wonder why the people of the constituencies represented by these suspected criminal suspend them and their salaries until proven innocent and or are not booting them out?

    The two MPs mentioned (Nazim & Mustafa) though not proven in court are known characters who need nothing further.

  11. To my ignorant and uneducated mind it seems like something fundamental is missed here. ( will forget about US laws and Wikipedia for a while)
    Money laundering is the process of creating the illusion that ones wealth is actually his to spend or to put it simple its the effort to conceal the source of illegally gotten money.

    To acquire money by criminal acts and getting money by other means such as drug dealing, arms trading, robbing...etc cannot be money laundering. You keep that money in a safe at your home for 100 years and it doesn't become money laundering. It becomes money laundering when those people attempts to make that money white by investing that money in their own legal business or that of some other businessmen.

    So how can one stop money laundering without a proper tax system. If some one gives me millions of rufiyaa gained by a crime, I can invest that money in my own business or start my own business just like that and no authority will ask anything.

    So one can even say that in the absence of a proper tax system all the money people have is in a way legal and there is no barrier for its use, because you don't have to declare anything. just simple.

    Therefore Salim deserves to be a son of Maldivian Vice president. hehe.

  12. Headline of the Article reads:
    "Corruption trial of Deputy Speaker postponed to November: Criminal Court"

    It could be better a headline ,....that will explain the whole story as below

    "Due to corruptions, trial of Deputy Speaker, is postponed:by the criminals in Court."

    Who are they fooling and trying to deceive? themselves or the US?

  13. @Addu

    "To my ignorant and uneducated mind it seems like something fundamental is missed here."

    I believe you certainly have missed the whole meaning of money laundering. Your argument is totally flawed.

    Please refer to *ANY* source for the meaning of money laundering. It's not a national concept aligned to the USA or Egypt or Maldives. In fact, governments and institutions around the world collaborate on stopping money laundering. This takes place in Tax Havens where there is no "Active Tax System".


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