MDP expresses concern over legality of Immigration Department switch

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has questioned the legality of transferring control of the Department of Immigration and Emigration to the Defence Ministry amidst wider concerns over what it alleges are a number of “surprising coincidences” this week.

In a press statement, the opposition MDP accused President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik of acting suspiciously after parliament voted by 74 votes to cancel the border control system agreed with Malaysia-based IT service provider Nexbis.

The President’s Office said today it rejected any insinuations that it had operated outside the law, while declining to comment on any statements from the MDP.

The former ruling party’s allegations focused on the president’s decision to travel to Malaysia – where Nexbis’ head offices are located – for a personal visit just three days after the Majlis vote.

The MDP also maintained that the president’s decision to transfer the Department of Immigration and Emigration to the Ministry of Defence and National Security was an unlawful act.

The Immigration Department was previously under the mandate of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to the opposition party, the structures of the executive ministries compiled by parliament had placed the immigration department under the oversight of the Ministry of Home Affairs.  The party contended that the President’s Office decision to transfer any department outlined in this structure without prior parliamentary approval was therefore an unlawful act .

The Nexbis agreement was signed when President Waheed’s brother in law, Ilyas Hussain Ibrahim, was serving as Controller of Immigration and Emigration.

Ilyas has since been transferred to the Ministry of Defence and National Security as a State Minister, to which the immigration department now reports. The MDP statement alleged that the transfer of the department effectively placed control of immigration back under the authority of Ilyas.

The statement alleged that the move was an attempt by Waheed to cover up allegations of corruption in the deal signed with Nexbis.

Nexbis has denied all allegations of corruption in its Border Control System (BCS) deal, while last week filing a case with the Maldives Civil Court claiming parliament lacked the jurisdiction to order the government to terminate the IT company’s contract.

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad also dismissed the MDP’s claims, stating “This government will never do anything unlawful. We review actions carefully before doing anything. It’s MDP that conducts unlawful activities.”

Masood refused to comment further on the matter, stating “MDP releases lots of statements. I do not wish to comment on what they have to say in those.”


9 thoughts on “MDP expresses concern over legality of Immigration Department switch”

  1. Even in some of the most advanced European countries police, immigration and customs (uniformed bodies) are one.

    Imagine the massive savings in admin cost, training cost, management.

    The Maldives, even being small, likes to have a department and ministries and 50 commisions for everything with many state ministers.

    No wonder the country is in debt.

    Lean government is needed here.

  2. @ Synergy

    Can you name one of those "European countries" that has the Police, Immigration and customs under a Defense Portfolio?

  3. Border Guard Corps (French: Corps des gardes-frontière, German: Grenzwachtkorps, Italian: Corpo delle guardie di confine) are the federal law enforcement agency who act as both the border guard and customs service. The BGC conducts people, vehicle and object searches, anti-drugs and anti-smuggling operations and investigates document forgery

  4. The Defense portfolio of some european countries even include youth and SPORTS !!!.,_Civil_Protection_and_Sports.

  5. I am not disputing that Police,Border Agency and customs fall under the same portfolio.

    It's quite normal for Police, border agencies and customs to come under the Home Office portfolio. not under the Defense or Military.
    Having said that, Switzerland appears to be a unique case. Then again, when is the last time we heard Human Rights Abuse from Swiss Authorities?

  6. @ Circus
    So the swiss white man is an angel huh? He commits no crime?

    this is what wikipedia said about swiss. google it.

    "As with many other Western states, Amnesty International reports some cases of alleged abuse, mostly involving the use of excessive force by the Swiss police of some cantons against foreigners. Amnesty's 2005 report[2] says (of the Swiss police) that "[t]here were regular reports of ill-treatment, often accompanied by racist abuse. Police accountability mechanisms were unsatisfactory and such abuses were often committed with impunity.""

  7. @ Circus

    Maldives is more unique due to its small size and many islands. But Maummon and Nasheed have their dumb head so deep into politics, they have forgotten how small and fragile this tiny country is.

    Whats the purpose of 'integrity commissions' and what not, if none of the 'leaders' have any personal integrity.

    Talk of democracy is just a coverup. Better repair yourself

  8. unique. You are right . Both Nasheed are equally bad and they both are dictators and they both had robbed this country for their personal gain.

    We need to find a true leaders to run this country and the country earnings is good enough to take out from the debts and then have a positive cash flow.

    We need to abolish 50% of those "commission" and reduce number of Mps, and reduce councilors and then we can have huge saving from these alone.

  9. @ A Fahmee on Tue, 1st Jan 2013 6:14 AM

    No Fahmee, this is not about"swiss white man". Regardless of color a good person is a good person.

    I raised the issue of human rights abuse, because I experienced this abuse first hand in the Maldives, for several months.

    Every nation has their own issues, like you mentioned Racist, Rapists and so on.
    What matters is, when such a tragedy occurs, does the mechanism in place makes an effort to avoid it in future? does the victim get heard?

    We cannot avoid all abuse, but what's important is how the system deals with the aftermath.
    Unless you've been a victim, I know it will be hard for you to understand where I'm coming from.


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