Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa today presented a resolution to the parliament demanding the investigation of Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his half-brother Abdulla Yameen, for allegedly buying subsidied oil from OPEC and selling it on the international blackmarket to Burma.
The previously-aired allegations date from Yameen’s time as Trade Minister and head of State Trading Organisation (STO). Yameen is now an MP and leader of the opposition-aligned People’s Alliance (PA) party, and has insisted that any such trading was legal and that allegations of impropriety were politically-motivated.
In the motion, Musthafa claimed that Chief National Correspondent of CNN-IBN Sumon Chakrabarti had outlined how the fraud was conducted to local media, and provided evidence.
His resolution requests an investigation into what it describes as “the biggest corruption case in the history of the Maldives”.
Issues relating to the Singapore-based joint venture that allegedly carried out the deal, Mocom Trading Pvt Ltd, which was used established to carry out this fraud, were first raised by audit firm KPMG, Musthafa noted in the resolution.
The resolution states that later in 2004, audit firm Price Water House Coopers also audited the STO.
“This year the government handed the auditing to [forensic accountancy firm] Grant Thornton which found that the two audit reports contained legitimate concerns in their reports,’’ the resolution said.
If passed, the resolution would oblige parliament to investigate the matter. It states that it is the legal duty of the parliament to look in to that matter as the allegations concern commercial crime as high-level corruption.
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan said he fully supported such an investigation as it would “reveal the truth of it to the people.”
‘’There have been so many accusations against Gayoom and so far none of them have been proven,’’ Nihan said. ‘’This government has already spent US$2 million on bribing the journalist Chakrabarti and investigating the matter using other methods,” he alleged.
Nihan said Musthafa was “the black sheep” of the MDP Parliamentary Group, and accused the party of “often using him to present such resolutions and bills.”
‘’He always tell us outside the parliament that his policy is ‘no money, no talk,’’ he said. ‘’He must have been given some amount of money and if someone else gave more he will withdraw it, that is how he works.’’
Nihan said that similar allegations had been made by the current Home Minister Hassan Afeef that Gayoom took US $80 million dollars in tsunami aid given by the Qatari government.
‘’The court found Afeef guilty of defamation,’’ Nihan said. ‘’There are many such accusations against Gayoom.’’