High Court denies ACC injunction as commission appeals Civil Court ruling on Nexbis

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has appealed a ruling from the Civil Court blocking its order to halt the implementation of a border control system agreement between the Immigration department and Malaysian firm Nexbis.

The commission also called for an injunction on the installation of the system until the High Court case was resolved, however Judge Azmirelda Zahir said such a decision could only be taken after both sides had presented their cases. The ACC requested an injunction on the grounds that it would lose the possibility of appeal should the project be implemented before the conclusion of the High Court case.

The ACC in December forwarded corruption cases against former – and now reappointed – Immigration Controller Ilyas Hussain Ibrahim and Director General of the Finance Ministry, Saamee Ageel, to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PG), alleging that the pair had abused their authority for undue financial gain in giving the US$39 million to Nexbis.

The ACC had earlier ordered a halt to the project following the signing of the contract in October 2010, announcing that it had received “a serious complaint” regarding “technical details” of the bid, and that the agreement presented “instances and opportunities” for corruption.

The 20-year Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement with the Malaysian-based mobile security solutions provider was to upgrade border security in the Maldives with new technology including facial recognition and fingerprint identification, facilitating the identification and tracking of expatriate workers and eliminating the opportunity to people to enter the country with forged paper documents.

The agreement allows Nexbis to levy a fee of Rf30 (US$2) from arriving and departing passengers in exchange for installing, maintaining and upgrading its immigration system. The company would also charge a Rf231 (US$15) for every work permit card.

Immigration Controller under the later months of President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration, Abdulla Shahid, contended that the agreement meant that Nexbis would draw US$200 million in revenue from the project over the life of the 20 year contract, while five percent royalties to the government would equate to US$10 million.

Speaking to Minivan News following the ACC’s initial injunction, Shahid claimed that the deal would deprive the government of significant revenues, when “border control is not something we are unable to comprehend – it is a normal thing all over the world.”

Shahid estimated that a free system given by a donor country would cost at most several hundred thousand dollars a year, and said he was unsure as to why such an agreement had ever been signed.

However, Nexbis said in a subsequent statement that its agreement meant that neither the government nor the Maldivian public would pay upfront for “state-of-the-art border security protection”, and suggested that “reasonable persons will likely realise that once the hidden costs after are taken into account and adjusted for inflation, the benefits and efficiencies of the Nexbis system will far outweigh the risk, inadequacies and uncertainties of any such alleged cheaper system.”

The Civil Court in January 2012 ruled that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) did not have the legal authority to order Immigration Department to terminate the agreement, with Judge Ali Rasheed ruling that while the ACC Act gave the commission the authority to investigate corruption cases, it was not able to annul contracts.

Judge Rasheed asserted that it was “unfair” to the contractors if ACC could annul an agreement without their input, as this violated their protections under Maldives Contract Law.

During the High Court hearing this week, the ACC charged that the State Attorney during the Civil Court case, Deputy Solicitor General Ahmed Usham, had a conflict of interest as he had been a member of the tender board responsible for awarding the project to Nexbis. Usham disputed the charge.

The case continues.


10 thoughts on “High Court denies ACC injunction as commission appeals Civil Court ruling on Nexbis”

  1. The ACC had earlier ordered a halt to the project following the signing of the contract in October 2010, announcing that it had received “a serious complaint” regarding “technical details” of the bid, and that the agreement presented “instances and opportunities” for corruption. ...??????

    Is this written by proof by JJ Robinson , I am also journalist which we can't write rumours when International media cover, I think the focus is out of court in this article since somebody pushing JJ.

  2. Was this is true or false by ACC ? Unproffisonal we had seen all board members decision was leak in media and Muawiz was involved to cancel this bid against ilyas destroy his carrier

  3. Minivan News never cover about the truth about the project and about Controller Shahid Leak documents in Rajjemiadhu, Its clear mention Controller Abdulla Shahid and ACC Muawiz is had done a deal to give the project without tender to the some companies that loose in the Bid,
    Even Shahid does not have right to communicate any parties that were loose, that means a courrption , but to investigate the courrption is Shahid best freind ACC Muawiz, which he was backup by some Company

  4. Fact of the matter is these days is ACC, the media and the opposition has made laymen like you believe that everybody is corrupt except yourself.
    What ACC should have done responsibly is investigate the matter, report their findings to prosecutor general and let the PG prosecute nexbis or immigration and get judiciary to pass a judgement on the case if guilty punish them as per the law.
    But ACC is also just speculating without due process. where do you draw the line on “corruption ah magi fahi vaa gothah koffa oi kammeh”
    when we are born to this world, we also come with the tools to do a lot of bad things, not only corruption but also adultery.
    so the mere fact we have the tools does not mean we would use it in a bad way.
    the point is, ACC should have followed its due process, they failed to do it and went out of their way to create a show for the public trying to prove their own innocence

  5. “corruption ah magi fahi vaa gothah koffa oi kammeh”??

    That’s means whatever project they wants they can stop and terminate, and politically very powerful which means any person they are against they can do whatever they wants.

  6. In 2010, the 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.
    “corruption ah magi fahi vaa gothah koffa oi kammeh”?? Confuse??? where is corruption???

  7. Its sad to hear still Maldives Anti Commision try to Stop projects that have Value and need to Maldives. Since we had seen some Maldivian sites about this case and it is politically motivated project which ACC inside also have intrest to give some other company which they had used a Former immigration Baaqee shahid advice and papers instant their own investigation now they are trying to use AG Azima Backup to help them terminate this agreement and AG Azima had paid from Goverment money to Singapore Law firm to get help or advice to terminate this agreement.
    It is a Political game which Haveeru media and VTV and DHiTV use negative campaign for those people who wants to cancel the bid which Sri Lankan informatics gave backup to immigration deputy minister Adam Naseer and most courrpt 3 years Assistant controller Ibrahim Waheed to spread rumors in media and even they had mention thy had connection with ACC with case and ACC Muawiz was involved in this game.
    Anti courrption board is courrpt which they never investigate why these people are crazy to stop this project and why ACC intrest only particular company name or brand to destroy.
    Independent Commision using help from Baaqee shahid in civil court now in HCourt Azima is this a independent Commision

  8. How do you accuse someone without any evidence?
    All allegations are baseless.

  9. This case has been ongoing for such a long time by the ACC. Its very obvious in the public's eye that ACC has no evidence of corruption. Its also very clear that certain individuals in the ACC has a vested interest to stop the project.

    We the citizen of maldives are not idiots that can be easily deceived by the ACC. The acc has been more corrupt than all other agencies!

  10. wow, ACC still working crazy with one case,

    City Council against Fantasy Barkery.

    ACC against Ilyas and Nexbis.

    Board members influnce against people and companies, this is how tehey work for the nation.


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