The High Court has released the five people arrested in connection with a MVR 24 million (US$1.55 million) corruption investigation involving the Disaster Management Centre (DMC).
The suspects arrested included the Former Head of Disaster Management Centre Abdulla Shahid and the brother of the Speaker of Parliament.
The five individually appealed in the High Court arguing that the Criminal Court’s decision to extend their detention was unlawful.
The High Court ruled there was no need to keep the five detained as the suspects were arrested after their statements had already been obtained, and because the case was already being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Auditor General.
The case involving the Disaster Management Centre fraud concerns an audit report into the Centre produced by the Auditor General. In the report, the Auditor General alleged that the MVR 24 million was fraudulently obtained from the budget allocated for the Centre for the years 2009 and 2010.
The Auditor General (AG) later conducted a special audit into the MVR24 million believed to be fraudulently obtained.
The AG”s report alleged that the Disaster Management Centre had photocopied, edited and reused ‘Credit Purchase Order Forms’ used in 2005 to withdraw MVR 24 million from the Centre’s budget at the Finance Ministry.
The ‘Credit Purchase Order Forms’ were originally given to the Disaster Management Centre in 2005 to withdraw cash from the Tsunami Recovery Fund. The Auditor General’s report also suggested that the Finance Ministry was complicit in the alleged fraud.