A council member of President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP) and Project Advisor at the Housing Ministry, Ahmed Faiz, has been arrested and placed under remand detention for 15 days, police have confirmed.
According to local media reports, the former Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Managing Director and Deputy CEO of the Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) was arrested on Tuesday while trying to sell a sex tape of a Supreme Court Justice.
The Criminal Court on Wednesday afternoon (June 26) granted an extension of 15 days for Faiz’s detention.
A police media official told Minivan News that police could not divulge further details apart from confirming that Faiz was “arrested in connection with a case currently under investigation.”
While local media reports did not identify the judge involved in the case, photos of Supreme Justice Ali Hameed in a hotel room with a woman began circulating on social media in March this year.
President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad told Minivan News today that Faiz has been sacked from his project advisor post at the Housing Ministry, to which he was appointed at the deputy minister-level in March 2012.
Masood Imad also confirmed that Faiz is a member of GIP’s executive council.
Faiz was also the GIP representative at press conferences of the unofficial “December 23 coalition” of eight political parties that organised a mass gathering in 2011 against the allegedly anti-Islamic policies of former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Faiz was present at a press event of the December 23 alliance on January 8, 2012 where the group announced plans for a “mass symposium” for February 24, 2012. He was also present when opposition leaders met then-Vice President Dr Waheed in his official residence at 1:00am on January 31 – seven days before the controversial transfer of presidential power – and pledged their allegiance to the vice-president.
Faiz participated in the press conference later that night when opposition party leaders called on the police and army to pledge allegiance to Dr Waheed and “not carry out any orders given by President Nasheed.”
In August 2012, an audio clip of Faiz in conversation with a group of unidentified men was aired on opposition-aligned private broadcaster Raajje TV after it was leaked on social media.
Faiz told Minivan News at the time that the clip was authentic and recorded in March 2012 but claimed that it was cut and edited together.
In the 15-minute audio, Faiz boasts of his influence within the government as a “close confidante” of President Waheed and attempts to hire the men to disrupt activities of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Faiz claimed in the leaked audio that he was in a position to embezzle large amounts of money from MBC and the State Trading Organisation (STO).
He also spoke of President Waheed’s reluctance to remain allied with former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and of plans to “take Maumoon out of the political picture.”
“The truth is that there is quite a lot of support for Maumoon too, and we have to accept that. If a political gathering is to be held in this country, at this moment it’s only PPM or MDP that can gather a good amount of people. No one else can do it, ok? This is the political reality of now,” Faiz is heard saying.
“We are not at all aiming to keep them close to us. The real objective is to destroy this… thing… that Maumoon has. This cannot be done by even Anni, or by anyone else in this country, unless we stay within them, and let them into the government. There is simply no other way. Now I’ve gone and said something I was not meaning to share! I have just shared with you a huge secret.”
Faiz also claimed in the leaked conversation that he was “the biggest key” for the transfer of presidential power on February 7, 2012.
“All that was done, all the deals that were made, all that was done, all the people that we met with, within defense, even within police; nothing would have taken place without my knowledge, without my participation,” he is heard saying in a second clip.
“If this is a coup government and there is a death sentence given out, I will be among the first to be sentenced to death. So what even I want is money, do you understand? I’m telling you the truth, it is to gain money that I have come into this.”
First audio clip
Second audio clip