Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa has sent a letter to the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) threatening legal action if it does will not pay US$500,000 that the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) owed Musthafa’s Seafood Company.
Mustafa said the money was to be paid according to a ruling issued by the London Commercial Court in 1991.
‘’This money was the money we paid to Generalmeat Limited in Manchester to import flour, sugar and tin during the days we imported items from Generalmeat Limited,’’ Musthafa said in the letter. ‘’We waited for the goods for months. They said they had loaded 74 containers in the name of our company and later when we checked to Hanjin Shipping Line and Bangladesh Shipping Corporation we found out that Generalmeat had not loaded any containers in the name of our company.’’
Musthafa said when he realized that Generalmeat Limited had deceived his company, the company then appointed Birkett Westhorp and Loan law firm and filed a suit in the London Commercial Court.
‘’The London Commercial Court issued a court order to freeze all the accounts of Generalmeat Limited, but BCCI pretended that they did not receive the court warrant and transferred Generalmeat’s money in BCCI to shareholders’ wives accounts in Scotland,’’ he alleged in the letter.
‘’The London Commercial Court then ruled that BCCI and Generalmeat have deceived Seafood and ordered they pay Seafood US$500,000 in 14 days, and that the money should be paid to Seafood in the duration by withdrawing money from any account of BCCI anywhere in the world.’’
Musthafa said his Seafood Company then filed the case in the Singapore High Court citing Commonwealth Law Enforcement Declaration, and requested the court seize a BCCI boat loaded with flour at Singapore port.
‘’The Singapore High Court then detained the boat, but while this case was going on in the court, nine other international companies that BCCI had deceived came to know about this case and entered into it,’’ Musthafa said. ‘’But then we realized that it would take years to reach to a conclusion while the flour would expire in three months, so we got out of the suit.’’
Since the ruling came originally from London’s Commercial Court and the Maldives is a member state of the Commonwealth, the Maldives must implement the verdict, claimed Musthafa.
‘’BCCI is dead now and MMA is the live branch of BCCI in the Maldives,” he said. “The debt of a dead person has to be paid by a living legal parent. If the MMA does not pay us within seven days we will sue the MMA in court and when we sue, we will ask the court to take the amount of money for the loss we have had for the past 20 years as a cause of not having this money.’’
Speaking to Minivan News today, Musthafa said that if the MMA did not respond to the letter by the end of this week, he will have no other choice but to file the case in the court.
‘’It was a ruling that all the countries followed and implemented, so the MMA should implement the verdict too,’’ he said.
Governor of the MMA Fazeel Najeeb was not responding at time of press.