Police ordered to investigate Nasheed administration over SAARC Summit, alcohol

President Mohamed Waheed has ordered police to investigate budget overruns on the 2010 SAARC Summit during the previous administration of Mohamed Nasheed.

The President told a rally last night that he had “used my rights as president” to compel police to investigate the matter, according to local media.

The Auditor General released a special audit report last week on the Summit, alleging several financial discrepancies including an overspend of more than MVR 430 million (US$27.9 million) on the event’s allocated budget.

President Waheed is competing against Nasheed in the September election, along with the head of parliament’s finance committee responsible for commissioning the audit report, Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) candidate.Abdulla Yameen.

According to the report (Dhivehi), former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government spent MVR 667,874,870.84 (US$ 43.3 million), on the summit – 188.82 percent more than the MVR 231,240,000 (US$14.99 million) budget passed by parliament.

Others inconsistencies included payment of MVR 61.8 million (US$4 million) more the amount agreed for the construction of the Equatorial Convention Centre built for the summit, financial losses incurred by the government, violations of Public Finance Act and Public Finance Regulation and wasteful spending.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has meanwhile challenged the intent and credibility of the report, alleging the report “misleadingly” failed to distinguish between the government’s own money and the millions of dollars worth of foreign grant aid the country received to host the event.

Responding to the Auditor General’s claim that the former government had overspent more than MVR 430 million (US$27.9 million), former Housing and Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam said the Indian government had provided grant aid of MVR 267 million (US$17.3 million), the South Korean government MVR 3 million (US$194,552.53), while an additional MVR 2 million (US$129,701.69) was given from a trust fund.

According to the former Minister, when the grant aid was accounted for the deficit stood at MVR 167 million (US$10.83 million) – a third of the audit report’s figure – which had been settled by government’s contingency budget.

“The Auditor General is doing the math and arithmetic without taking these key figures into account. You simply can’t count apples and oranges and decide the total sum of both in apples. We see his findings something similar to counting apples in this manner,” Aslam said.

He also claimed that MVR 64 million (US$4.15 million) spent on building roads in both Addu City and Fuvahmulah was directed to improve the capacity of Southern Utilities Company Limited (SUL) because other companies who proposed to construct the road, including the government’s Maldives Transport and Construction Company (MTCC), were too expensive.

“The Auditor General claimed the government incurred financial losses by giving the project to SUL, and that the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) was actively involved in the construction work. And that government had paid SUL for the voluntary work carried out by the military personnel. What we are highlighting here is that if mathematically calculated, the amount spent on the project did not result in financial losses to the government,” Aslam contended.

He also questioned as to how the Auditor General came to the conclusion that the MNDF had contributed to 60 percent of the total work carried out to hold the SAARC Summit, stating that there was no justification given for the figure.

Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim defended his office, claiming the report was compiled based on information received from current government.

“The [MDP] is alleging that the current government was withholding information from us. We can’t do anything about that. We base our reports based on the information we receive,” he said.

PPM vice presidential candidate Dr Mohamed Jameel meanwhile called for the MDP to account for “economic atrocities”, speaking at a rally on Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaal Atoll.

Alcohol investigation

In a separate investigation, police have re-submitted for prosecution a case involving the alleged discovery of alcohol bottles in the presidential residence on February 7 2012, during the police mutiny that led to Nasheed’s resignation the same day.

The case was first filed by police on April 12 2012, but the case was returned by the PG’s office.

Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed the case, which had been returned by the PG in December 2012 for further investigation, had been resubmitted after police “clarified certain issues” originally highlighted by state prosecutors.

“We have checked these matters and resent the case,” Haneef said.
Haneef downplayed any potential concerns that the resubmission of the case just over a month before the presidential election could be seen as politically motivated.

“This case has been going on for a long time. [Maldives police] work on a case-by-case basis and we have re-sent the case after investigations were completed,” he said.

Nasheed has also faced charges for the military detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed prior to the controversial transfer of power. Nasheed’s government had alleged the judge – who had struck down police warrants for his own arrest and obtained a civil court injunction against his investigation by the Judicial Services Commission – had “taken the entire judiciary in his fist”, among other allegations.

Nasheed and the MDP have maintained that the charges are a politically-motivated attempt to bar him from contesting the elections.


16 thoughts on “Police ordered to investigate Nasheed administration over SAARC Summit, alcohol”

  1. Case by case . Just in time for the elections. Great timing. Who is this auditor joker, anyway ? Aslam, you teach him a few things , before he gets too carried away.

  2. Wonder how the investigations regarding the audit reports of former Presidenr HE Maumonn Abdul Gayooms regime is going? Haven't heard of any police investigations of those reports!

  3. The present regime not providing access to documents of former govt? And yet, this auditor fellow is investigating former govt's expenditure.
    Isn't it his duty to obtain all pertinent material and records ?
    What kind of audit is this?

  4. Dictators the world over are so predictable! Why can they never play on a level playing field?
    The government is hoping and wishing that this is the joker in the pack.

  5. Surely, that wine must've been bottled in heaven. Rivers of wine flow there like nobody's business.

    Anyway, why was Hoara Ibbe living inside the Presidential Palace? This chap was recently caught having sex with a minor, as I recall. MDP does have rather questionable characters in its ranks.

  6. There will not be justice in any Country. Don't believe it. Justice gos to money, and power.

  7. When there are are such huge issues to tackle our Police is now burden with an unsubstantiated audit report which had so many vital in formations missing . to investigate. i think this Riyaz fellow has suddenly become a spineless vegetable of some moneyed people in Maldives. So much for your efficiency and independence.

  8. @ahmed bin

    the mdp has many many questionable characters. The solution would be for Mr Nasheed to appoint better people to responsible jobs in his govt.

  9. How's this different from the porn video of Ali Hameed? At least there's more direct evidence to prosecute that man.

    Here we have empty or full bottles of liquor and wine. Do these have fingerprints on them? Did Nasheed handle them? No one can prove that anyone drank any of it. On that basis, there's no way, anyone will ever be found guilty here. The horse has already bolted. Too late.

  10. @oe on Fri, 2nd Aug 2013 3:03 AM


    Drinking Party?

    It may sound hilarious, but not so much when you get the most of the youth on drinking sprees, every other day. Very soon, it will become the norm.

  11. Cheap shot from a cheap unelected regime. Hope they find time to look into the sponsoring of the fake riots and the coup.


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