Former state ministers deny allegations in Home Ministry’s audit report

Two former state ministers for home affairs have denied allegations in the ministry’s audit report for 2010 that they were paid salaries for a year without attending the office, with one accusing the Auditor General of political bias.

The audit report released last week stated that the two political appointees were paid salaries and benefits, amounting to over MVR800,000 (US$51,880) from January to December 2010, while one was working at the Presidential Commission and the other at the Maldives Customs Service.

The two political appointees referred to in the report were Sheikh Hussein Rasheed Ahmed, a member of the Presidential Commission, and Mohamed Aswan, former principal collector of customs.

The report found that Aswan was paid January’s salary from both institutions.

“Although the two posts were created for the Ministry of Home Affairs, as the ministry did not receive any service from the two appointees, this office believes that the President’s Office’s creation of the two posts cannot be considered for the need of the ministry,” the report stated.

The audit report contended that the two appointees were paid salaries out of the Home Ministry’s budget in violation of budgetary rules, which had compromised the validity of the ministry’s financial statement.

Mohamed Aswan, presently commissioner general of customs, however issued a press statement on Thursday denying that he was paid salaries from both the Maldives Customs Service and Home Ministry in 2010.

Aswan explained that he was paid January’s salary from both offices due to “an administrative error” caused due to a delay in exchanging official documentation confirming the transfer.

He added that errors in processing salaries and benefits of government employees were commonplace and, once identified, were usually remedied with the necessary changes the following month.

Aswan also noted that the administrative task of paying salaries and benefits for political appointees was a responsibility of the permanent secretary, the highest-ranking civil servant in government offices.

In 2010, Aswan’s press release stated, he was simultaneously working in three government posts but received salaries and benefits only from the Home Ministry, which he did not believe was “against the law.”

In addition to acting head of customs at the time, Aswan was also a member of the Presidential Commission set up by former President Mohamed Nasheed to investigate allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of state funds by the regime of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Aswan was appointed state minister for home affairs in January 2010 to reform the police service following cabinet deliberations.

As a former National Security Service lieutenant, Aswan was the deputy in charge of Maafushi jail when 19-year old inmate Evan Naseem was beaten to death and several inmates shot to death in a subsequent prison riot in September 2003.

In July 2003, Aswan had filed a detailed report on systematic abuse and institutionalised torture in Maafushi jail, warning of “disastrous consequences” if corrective measures were not taken immediately.

“Political bias”

Sheikh-Hussain-Rasheed-AhmedWriting in his personal website, Sheikh Hussein Rasheed Ahmed, former co-chair of the Presidential Commission, meanwhile slammed Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim for “attempting to discredit the government toppled in a coup d’etat.”

The former president of the Adhaalath Party explained that he was appointed state minister to oversee and expedite investigations into rampant corruption alleged in over 30 audit reports by former Auditor General Ibrahim Naeem as “the relevant authorities were not adequately looking into the cases.”

Rasheed insisted that both he and Aswan attended the home ministry to carry out the tasks they were entrusted with by the President.

“The Presidential Commission was tied to the President’s Office and the Home Ministry,” he wrote. “When the commission completed the investigation stages, we were submitting reports to the President and relevant departments under the Home Ministry. In addition to the President’s Office, we also provided information to the Anti-Corruption Commission.”

Arguing that the current Auditor General made no effort to ascertain the work done by the pair at the Home Ministry, Rasheed accused Niyaz of “working in your own defence” and “trying to please the current government which is in place through a coup d’etat.”

Rasheed said that he sent his monthly attendance records to the President’s Office and kept the Home Minister informed of his work. Moreover, the permanent secretary was notified ahead of official leaves, Rasheed said, adding that “the Auditor General made no effort to obtain any of this information.”

“Are you unwilling to release an audit report on the double pension President Maumoon is taking illegally out of fear over a no-confidence motion [in parliament]?” Rasheed asked.

Rasheed further claimed that Niyaz attempted to intervene in the Presidential Commission’s investigation of the alleged US$800 million illegal oil trade carried out under the chairmanship of MP Abdulla Yameen at the State Trading Organisation (STO).

“Did you not try to get the documents [related to the case] first from the Anti-Corruption Commission?” Rasheed wrote. “When the Presidential Commission refused to provide you with the information, you even visited STO Singapore.”

Following these unsuccessful attempts, Rasheed alleged that Auditor General Niyaz tried to obtain the documents through an audit of the President’s Office and the Presidential Commission, suggesting that the section in the Home Ministry’s audit report concerning his salary was “retaliation” by the Auditor General.

The audit report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 2010 made public in July was similarly slammed by former Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed as “politically motivated and phrased to mislead the public.”


7 thoughts on “Former state ministers deny allegations in Home Ministry’s audit report”

  1. any corruption done during Anni regime is white lies and MDP will never touch a cent from the public money and they are angles.

    Anyone who sign the MDP , all thier wrong doing doing and sins will be void and they all will get cleaned .

  2. A lot of corruption is merely human greed. You’d be surprised what even the most ‘moral’ could do if he genuinely believed he would get away with it.

    But, sometimes, ideals seeking to elevate humanity, whether religious or secular, feed on robbery and injustice in pursuit of realization. Such paradox, such ‘Unholy Alliance,’ seems like the unavoidable fate, the inescapable prison of moral paradox of any struggle for humanity in the developing world. You may have the most beautiful intention, the redistribution of the wealth of the filthy rich towards the education needs of the poor for the sake of the entire nation. Or you may want the power to develop democratic institutions. But then you end up being trapped into needing to bribe, lie, steal and intimidate in order to get the power to do your work of humanity.

    So I know that it is difficult to end corruption, it is easier said than done, but corruption must be stopped!

    Corruption, in the form of unholy means to a pure end, destroys the ideals it seeks to empower; it is counter-productive to do evil that good may come of it.

    We must learn to seek power through acts of courageous self sacrifice for our humanity! Power of the people, power TO the people, in a revival of the dignity of the people in our revelation to them of their innate worth and sanctity - as expressed through our depth of genuine love for them. I am talking of an attitude of sacrifice born from no other motive other than genuine love for the people.

    Our power over the hearts of the people has to become stronger than any power to bribe them, or intimidate them, and we can only achieve that, through love for the people which is so strong, we are prepared to die for them, to suffer for them, if need be.

    There is no other way.

    Only the power of love has the capacity to prevail over the power of corruption.

    Corruption, in taking money which would otherwise have been fed back into society, deprives the poor and oppressed of opportunity, hope, and human dignity. It is a serious assault on the sanctity of life and therefore, a very Grave affront to the Creator, it MUST be stopped!

  3. If you are not aligned to Nasheed you may be a corrupt guy, but once you get in to their registry, complying their moral codes, surely all labels of “corruption” will be lifted.

    When Redwave Saleem signed MDP he was like descended from heaven-no alleged charges against him.

    I do remember the day Nasheed arrested Yamin and Qasim for alleged corruption, where the only evidence was illegally recorded audio which was not clear for anything. But, when they were freed by the Supreme Court criticism followed like a storm; demanding to arrest and detain the justices of Supreme Court.
    However, when Ali waheed’s controversial change in party was applauded by Nasheed himself-Nasheed danced, and sung songs on the said ceremony. Later Ali Waheed bought a land from Male’ by his mother’s name, paying more than the expected income he would earn even if he completes 5 years as a Parliamentarian. There are many more.

    Lastly, If you had a look on HRH’s blog, you would be able to comprehend what he’s intended to say against the report. He said just frivolous arguments. Just saying someone is also a corrupt guy. And trying to twist the allegations against hims saying Niyaz Ibrahim is also an ally of the current government.

    I know Senior MDP officials will defend this guy, the only Sheikh.

    “corruption” was a tool mobilized by the Nasheed Administration: to attack others and to gain advantage to MDP.

  4. Oh so golhabo thugsdo all things right when we just heard courts ruling, Algeen shoving millions in his own ass!

  5. One last thought on this corruption issue in order to pre-empt the economic rationalists, 'No its economic development and its consequential human development of ALL which eradicates corruption culture you crazy emotional moron...' argument (the right-wing version of political economy...)

    Governments in developing nations always seek to secure the creation of profit for economic development to occur(theoretically equaling a trickle down effect and development of all.) They are always striving to create attractive conditions for winning investment in order that this may happen. In so doing, Governments have entered into the worst form of corruption, human rights violations and tyranny of the poor and oppressed, in order to secure development! And the results are:

    A.Massive expenditure on the army for security which drains from the economy, creates an atmosphere of fear which leads to a paralysis of creative energy and a consequent destruction of human resources.

    B. Rebellion, dysfunction, removal of investor interest, poverty, pain.

    IF Economic development is the key to ending a culture of corruption, not even economic development will occur without leaders who win the ppl over through what I described in the above comment.


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