Criminal Court orders police to summon former Atolls Minister Abdulla Hameed

The Criminal Court has asked police to summon former Atolls Minister Abdulla Hameed to the Maldives under police custody to face corruption charges.

A court order issued last night requested police to summon 19 defendants whose cases have been stalled because they were out of the country.

Abdulla Hameed, brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and long-serving Speaker of Parliament, reportedly resides in Sri Lanka. In 2009, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) pressed charges against Hameed for abuse of authority for financial gain to a third party.

A press statement by the Criminal Court noted that the order was made for the second time while a meeting was held with police on June 1, 2011 to discuss defendants at large.

The Criminal Court asked police to find Hameed in April 2011 and present him before the court after several hearings of the corruption case had to be cancelled.

Police said at the time that the Immigration Department had been instructed to hold Hameed’s passport should he ever return to the Maldives.

Police spokesperson Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam explained that when the court first requested police to summon Hameed in late 2009 he was not in the Maldives.

“But the court have not yet issued an arrest warrant or requested his arrest via Interpol,” Shiyam said in April. “His whereabouts remain unknown.”

In August 2009, police concluded an investigation into alleged corruption at the Atolls Ministry flagged in an audit report released earlier that year.

At a press conference on August 8, 2009, Chief Inspector Ismail Atheef exhibited numerous quotations, agreements, tender documents, receipts, forged bank statements and cheques implicating Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim, Eydhafushi MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem and Hameed  in a scam to defraud the ministry through fraudulent transactions.

Police investigations focused on three main points in the ministry’s audit report for 2007 and 2008: the purchase of mosque sound systems for over US$138,000; the purchase of 15,000 national flags for over US$110,000; and the purchase of 220 harbour lights at a cost of over US$151,000 from businesses with close ties to Nazim.

According to Atheef, Eydhafushi MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem, who was director of finance at the ministry, actively assisted the scam.

Atheef added that Mohamed Ali, an employee of Namira Engineering, and Abdulla Nashid, Nazim’s brother, further produced and signed bid documents.

Police said Hameed played a key role in the fraud by handing out bids without public announcements, making advance payments using cheques against the state asset and finance regulations, approving bid documents for unregistered companies and discriminatory treatment of bid applicants.

“In these cases, money laundering was involved,” Atheef said at the time. “I wouldn’t say money from these transactions was directly deposited to the accounts of Abdulla Hameed or Ahmed Saleem.

“Transactions take a long period. For example, I deposited five rufiyaa to an account, and from that account withdrew four rufiyaa as cash. Then deposit four rufiyaa to another account, by single denominations. A person who is looking at it from a distance would find it hard to trace.”

Conspiracy to defraud

Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim appeared in court last month to answer multiple counts of conspiracy to defraud the former Atolls Ministry. However the Criminal Court barred journalists from observing the trial.

Local daily Haveeru reported today that summons to the next trial date on September 29 was delivered to Nazim last night. The court had reportedly failed to hand over the chit to the People’s Alliance (PA) MP on eight occasions.

In November 2010, following the PGO’s decision to press charges, Hameed’s son and lawyer, Shaheen Hameed, issued a press statement arguing that the case was “politically motivated”.

Shaheen accused the PGO of double standards claiming that “people who confessed to the crime and gave statements to police regarding this case have not been prosecuted to date.”

In an earlier statement put out in October, Shaheen Hameed said his father was “ready to fully answer the charges made against him at trial.”

The prominent lawyer argued in the statement that there was no impediment from carrying out the trial in Hameed’s absence as his legal team was “ready to defend him.”

He added that both the police and PGO denied “repeated requests” for government documents related to the case, which were needed to prepare a defence.


12 thoughts on “Criminal Court orders police to summon former Atolls Minister Abdulla Hameed”

  1. This seems to be another gimmick by Judiciary, there is no way that police can force Abdulla Hameed to return to Male’ without his willingness.

  2. Shaheen, why are you so worried? Your client cum father will not be found guilty so long as the courts are dictated by your uncles Maumoon and Yaameen. They have ordered criminal court to summon him to finish off the trial and sentence him innocent.

    You will all pay for this in our next life.

    Enjoy while you can!

  3. This Kulhi Hameed was hiding in Singapore and ran out of money and moved to Colombo. If Anni cannot bring this crook to justice we can bring justice to him while he is over there.

  4. Why is the media barred from the trial?

    The public has a right to be informed of every ongoing developments in cases like this where the public have alleged been defrauded.

  5. The present government is trying to nail down one by one from the previous government. Tomorrow, someone will do the same with the ministers of the present government. The world of politics is dirty. Sadly no ordinary citizen would benefit from any such summon and investigations. They are all done to bring out personal revenge, hatred and enemity.

  6. Ziyan,

    It's probably time to move on from this thinking that every action has to be personally motivated.

    The article clearly mentions physical evidence of fraud and embezzlement that were presented to the media.

    It does not matter if the alleged criminal was a layman or a senior figure in the previous government - a crime is a crime, and the courts should be allowed do their job.

  7. Also, if you think corruption trials have no benefit to the public, then maybe you should stop complaining about corruption.

  8. @hussain ahmed, our president will not ask the Sri Lankan government to arrest and handover Abdulla Hameed to Maldivian government. President made it very clear that he is not the type take revenge. Now it is up our judicial system to give us justice which of cause is bleak as the judiciary is controlled by Abdulla Hameed’s brothers the tyrant Gayoom and the crook Yaheen Abdul Gayoom.

  9. HUSSAIN AHMED this is a political game.

    Anni also support these. Anni just want to show u that he is doing good for you on Media. but behined he support all these guys.

    If Anni not doing this he will loose publice support of 25%. other 75% is with these guys, if these guys shakes Anni will say "good bye" to this world.

  10. Ziyan is right. While we blog and comment about these issues, most of us are stuck in dead-end government jobs, up to our neck in loans with no hope of ever getting finance for decent housing. While the government runs around hunting its enemies, no one in the State machinery cares about;

    - reforming HR policies in government institutions.
    - creating decent jobs in the private sector.
    - providing training for youths wishing to work in sectors of their choice.
    - trying to find a solution for the housing issue that plagues us.

    The youth do not benefit from handouts and political participation. What we need is a decent government. Not the world's most prolific marketing machine.

  11. The housing problem is so acute because the previous regime did nothing to develop the islands.
    Why should all or most of us have to come to Male to get anything done?
    Why cannot we develop the basic infrastructure in the islands?
    If we do not need to come to Male then most people would not want to come and live in Male, where the rents are so expensive.


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