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.