ACC investigates Disaster Management with forensic experts

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday entered the Disaster Management Center (DMC) with a police escort to investigate files relating to a 2006 housing construction project in Laamu atoll.

The Ministry of Housing and Environment did not comment on the investigation’s purpose, which is being conducted four months after outstanding payments to the construction company were made.

Movey Construction Company was hired under the former government to manage an Rf18 million project in 2006, which was completed in 2007. In 2009, DMC delayed payments due to a financial shortage, and in January 2011 Movey Construction filed a complaint for financial losses.

Deputy Minister of Housing and Environment, Ahmed Zaki, said he had been puzzled by the delay. “All the paperwork was in order,” he told Minivan News today. Moreover, the complaint against the Disaster Management Center “had enough evidence, and the payments were made with approval by the Finance Ministry in May.”

Zaki said forensic experts had accompanied ACC staff yesterday to “review paperwork and files in a clear and informed fashion. The hard drives which had been removed for further examination were returned today, all clear.”

When asked if the ACC investigation implied a concern for corruption, Zaki said he did not believe there was any reason to suspect corruption in the dealings between DMC and Movey Construction Company.

“This is just an accusation because payments were delayed. But the payments were made this May with sufficient documents from all parties. The financial system in the Maldives is very transparent, there are a lot of layers, checks and balances, so I am confident that there is no issue of corruption here,” he said.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the police would provide support as needed during the investigation.

“We have a signed agreement with the ACC to provide support as needed. Our forensic experts are currently working on the case,” Shiyam said.

Members of Movey Construction Company and the ACC were not available for comment.


4 thoughts on “ACC investigates Disaster Management with forensic experts”

  1. Moway Construction basically IS Apollo Holdings.

    This incident has a long history dating back to the 2004 tsunami disaster.

    Moway was contracted to construct housing blocks in Kudahuvadhoo and Gan. What followed after were several fights to secure payments amounting to several figures.

    They even had a public fight with the French Red Cross.

    The NDMC has always been an incompetent organization which mainly deals in arranging logistics and issuing funds. No surprise that their diminished role in the current administration involves acting as an avenue for corruption.

  2. This article is generally baseless and far from the facts and misleading. This is not an outstanding payment as you have described here and it is not even a 18 million Rufiyaa project. This project was awarded to Moreway Construction in 2005 to build 240 houses in L.Gan. The project, more than 7 million dollars, was funded by the French Red Cross (FRC). Nearly two years after, the Moreway Construction was able to build only 80 houses. So after repeated warnings and time extension the project was terminated in 2007 and remaining houses were built by MTCC. Then DMC sued against Moreway for the losses suffered, and in November 2007 there was court ruling asking Moreway to pay 2.3 million dollars to the government. This money is not yet paid even till date. DMC delayed payment due to financial shortages is not true at all. First of all DMC or the Maldivian government has nothing to do with the finance, because it was a FRC funded project.That is why the invoices are also addressed to IFRC Delegate, H.Gaadhoo Building, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Male. FRC has, years ago, paid to Moreway for what it owes. In fact, regarding these claims, there was an official statement released by FRC Head Delegate Emmanuel in 2006. Contrary to the claim by DMC official Ahmed Zaki, the paper work is not in order. With the payment Voucher there, is no original invoice but copies and important documents such as the letters from the Site Managers,FRC Project Manager and HIRU-DMC Approval letter are not there. These invoices landed at NDMC even before but were rejected for not submitting proper documents. Furthermore, the FRC also does not recognize these invoices. Its true the payment was made with the approval of Finance Ministry, but the Ministry itself was "perhaps" mislead by the officials from DMC. The Deputy Minister of Housing and Environment Ahmed Zaki wrote the misleading letters. The hard disks were not returned, but temporarily brought to DMC in an attempt to retrieve some information by connecting to its server, because ACC was not able to do that in their own system. And all are not clear as Zaki said, but the investigation is still going on. Last month an investigation team from the ACC had travelled to L.Gan to check Moreway claims of what it called "Access Road Works" in L.Gan during their project work. The ACC has also communicated its Head Office in Paris. This is not just an accusation but a big corruption case and a fraud, involving more than 33 million Rufiyaa. In this corruption, the first payment of 18 million was released in May 2011 and 15 million rufiyaa was about to be released when ACC intervened and stopped the payment in August 2011. The financial system is very transparent or not will decide by our readers, so I will not comment on it. Yes, it is true there are a lot of layers, checks and balances and even independent commissions in the country. Despite all these, I am sorry to say at least in this case, the Finance Minister himself was misled. How could this happen? Of course, the DMC wrote misleading letters to Finance Minister Inaz, telling these were outstanding payments dating back to the tsunami period of more than 5 years ago. I hope this case is now very clear to our readers.


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