Presidential Commission to investigate corruption and human rights abuses abolished

The new government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has abolished the Presidential Commission, created by former President Nasheed to investigate corruption and human rights abuses under Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

On February 1, a week before Nasheed’s government was toppled by opposition demonstrators and mutinous police, the Presidential Commission had forwarded a case for prosecution against Gayoom’s half brother MP Abdulla Yameen, for his alleged involvement in an illegal oil trade of up to US$800 million with the Burmese military junta, during his time as chairman of the State Trading Organisation (STO).

Yameen has publicly dismissed the allegations on several occasions, distancing himself from the Singapore branch of the STO where the trade to Burma took place, as well as disputing any illegality in the trade.

Grilled by parliament’s National Security Committee over the matter in November 2011, he denied any involvement in “micro-management” of STO subsidiary companies during his time as chairman until 2005.

The allegations first appeared in February 2011 in India’s The Week magazine, which described Yameen as “the kingpin” of a scheme to buy subsidised oil through STO’s branch in Singapore and sell it through a joint venture called ‘Mocom Trading’ to the Burmese military junta, at a black market premium price.

The article draws heavily on an investigation report by international accountancy firm Grant Thorton, commissioned by the Maldives government in March 2010, which obtained three hard drives containing financial information detailing transactions from 2002 to 2008. No digital data was available before 2002, and the paper trail “was hazy”.

As well as the four shareholders, former Managing Director of STO Singapore Ahmed Muneez served as director. The Week reported that Muneez informed investigators that Mocom Corportation was one of four companies with a tender to sell oil to the Burmese junta, alongside Daewoo, Petrocom Energy and Hyandai.

Investigators learned that Mocom Trading was set up in February 2004 as a joint venture and had four shareholders: Kamal Bin Rashid, a Burmese national, Maldivians Fathimath Ashan and Sana Mansoor, and a Malaysian man named Raja Abdul Rashid Bin Raja Badiozaman. Badiozaman was the Chief of Intelligence for the Malaysian armed forces for seven years and a 34 year veteran of the military, prior to his retirement in 1995 at the rank of Lieutenant General.

Under the contract, wrote The Week, “STO Singapore was to supply Mocom Trading with diesel. But since Mocom Corporation held the original contact, the company was entitled to commission of nearly 40 percent of the profits.”

That commission was to be deposited in a United Overseas Bank account in Singapore, “a US dollar account held solely by Rashid. So, the books would show that the commission was being paid to Mocom, but Rashid would pocket it.”

Yameen has previously described the allegations as “absolute rubbish”, and denied being under investigation by the Singaporean police saying that he had friends in Singapore who would have informed him if that were the case.

The article, he said, was part of a smear campaign orchestrated by Nasheed, a freelance writer and the dismissed Auditor General “now in London”, who he claimed had hired the audit team – “they spent two weeks in the STO in Singapore conducting an investigation.”

Gayoom also lashed out at comments made by the Presidential Commission, that top-level officials from the former administration were involved in blackmarket oil deals with the Burmese military junta.

Today President Waheed’s Press Secretary, Masood Imad, confirmed the Presidential Commission had been abolished but said he was unsure of the reasons why.


17 thoughts on “Presidential Commission to investigate corruption and human rights abuses abolished”

  1. You could not make it up.
    We are all destined for disaster now! The old regime is back!!

  2. What is so suprising??? Waheed is nothing but a puppet , stooge, puppy dog, servant boy etc etc of Gayoom and Yamin. This is the end of Maldives. Much moe corruption now than during Nasheed's rule.

  3. Coup Doctors or Dr. Coups...There are many hidden hands who have engineered and doctored this situation. Why can't it all be settled over the ballot box....Why some are so frightened of elections...? People need to understand where the roots of the problem lie. Let the common man decide.

  4. It could be part of a deal between the PPM and Dr Waheed in the conspiracy to oust Nasheed's government.

    However, the abolition of the commission would neither nullify any investigation carried out by the commission nor affect the prospect of action being taken on the report by the prosecutor general at, least, if he is impartial as he is expected to be being part of the Constitutionally independent institutions.

    Nevertheless, the junta may purposely avoid or delay pursuing such action.

  5. this is how coup govt rule this country..they love corruption, cuz with that money they can bribe ppl to support them!!

  6. Have I not said it before>>Waheed is only the manager of Gayooms business empire, ie The Maldives..

  7. Don't any one of the commentators here know that the presidential commission is illegal..we have already have an independent anti corruption bureau and an independent judiciary to handle all corruption cases....President commission was nothing but a extra judicial body composed of Anni supporters to highjack opposition MPs...Its time to investigate corruption by the previous government including Mega Air, 50 million dollar reclamation project to Reeko moosa, and millions of dollars in bribes to MDP officials by GMR, some say the pribes could be more than 700 million dollars.

  8. @nars

    There is no law that forbids such a commission being formed to investigate those charges brought about by the commission.

    Anti corruption bureau, is an independent institution, where any citizen or even the executive branch of the government can forward such a case to the Bureau.

    True you can forward a case to the Bureau yourself to investigate the case of MegaAir if you feel there was corruption involved or any other case to that matter. They are an independent body. But finally they would file the case within the Judicial system of this country.

    Judiciary needs to be reformed first

  9. Nars, great idea. Let's investigate corruption over the last three years, BUT before that we may need some time to investigate the corruption over 30 years! And why aren't these cases being investigated by the ACC or other relevant independent institutions? Why are the courts throwing out these cases when all the evidence is available? Why is the PG so unwilling and slow to look into these matters? Now we know why the Nasheed government had to form the commission and why this government has abolished it so quickly.

  10. Yes now we need to form a new commission to investigate Rekko Moosa and Mariya's Corruption. and next term another for other corrupt grow. Dr.Waheed, Nasheed, Gayoom and all leaders to come..keep lying to Maldivians!! You all are greedy and B@@@@ds!


  12. Vampires are thirsty for blood......Maumoon regime is thirsty for cash...... They are back...And theres nothing I can do to that

  13. To all Maumoon sympathizes,

    Do you really believe dr.waheed is in power? What possible gain, moral or public, does he have in abolishing a commission that's investigating possible (not yet proven) corruption cases during 30 yr rule by Maumoon? If the accused are so spick and span - clean n wholesome - why abolish a commission that's bound to prove their innocence? Think about that for a bit before your feeble single layered minds reboot to your original iamdrone/30/Maumoon.exe state.

    Seriously, I mean ,"seriously" even with all the flaws in Anni's government, are u denying the fact that in 3 years Anni did start a number of projects Maumoon never even imagined for his country in 30 years, that's 10,950 nights to dream and less than 1095 days for Anni to bring those projects into reality.

    Whats wrong with you people is you just watch too much DhiTV and like an alien ship puts a hypnotic beam on the innocent bystander, champa uchu has done it to you through a tv box n operated on your loose circuitry.

    Listen to me when i say, How can you say housing is wrong policy, a proper system to transport what you defficate at home to a treatment plant is a pipe dream and an opportunity to visit another island in your own atoll without costing a fortune - are these wishes of a terrorist loving booze drinking smokaholic dictator that u so want Anni to be?

    If you wish to promote that sentiment, go get yourself a quick check up at IGMH because clearly you don't know the difference a wall and a door when your own well being is on the other side.

    I am just sick of you drones. Wake up from the 30 year hibernation and start thinking with your own head.

  14. It would not be difficult to track corruption if it happened during the last 3 years. Unlike Gayyoom's dark era, things have been much more open since 2008. Besides, the international banking systems have undergone quite a lot of change recently and it's much more difficult to channel large quantities of money without raising suspicion.

    On the same note, it should be possible to investigate whether any serious financial transactions took place before the lead up to the coup of 7th February. If anyone benefited financially, either they're hiding the dosh under a mattress or its inside the banking system. In the latter case, it should be relatively easy to trace it, with support from the appropriate international authorities.

  15. What else is new. This is very common in Maldives. Corruption can be silenced by playing Islamic card like any other Islamic country like Pakistan. I predict the current govt will empower mullas to stay in power, the religious ministry will made more powerful and shariya will be implemented.

  16. this seems to be the way to move backwards......... well done...


Comments are closed.