MP for Hulhu-Henveiru and MDP parliamentary group leader ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has claimed his driver was bribed to put “cheap alcohol” into his car in an attempt to frame him for the crime.
Last week police arrested four expatriate men loading 168 bottles of whiskey and menthol gin into a car registered to Moosa, on the same day controversial liquor licensing regulations were unveiled by the Ministry of Economic Development.
“My car is not a pickup or a truck,” Moosa said. “Claiming it can fit 168 bottles is unacceptable.”
Moosa was in Singapore when the police arrested the four suspects, including Moosa’s driver.
“I was due to return on the 23rd – the night the incident happened. But that evening I cancelled the flight online because I had to take my wife to the doctors on the 26th. Even my family in Male’ didn’t know that.”
He said he suspected his driver had been “threatened or bribed”, and said the man was no longer in his employ.
Last week DRP Vice President Ibrahim Shareef said he doubted the case “would go very far”, noting that “in the worst case scenario Reeko’s driver will be implicated and that will be the end of the story.”
Moosa however claimed he believed the incident was “politically motivated”, and noted that the television station DhiTV “has been showing the incident non-stop for 24 hours.”
“The last time I was in an advertisement for a liquid was with my brother in a television ad for Sun-Up,” he said, suggesting that he should now be paid royalties for every bottle sold.
“A media channel in this country has used my photo, my car, my family, my children and my name to do business and I want to sue for compensation.”
During his address to an MDP rally on Sunday night, Moosa implied he knew who was responsible for the incident, calling on police to “summon him for an investigation”.
“The country’s economy in the past was in the hands of a few rich businessmen, and they are unhappy that the new government is not giving into their demands,” he said.
“We don’t want this country’s assets in the hands of three or four businessmen.”
Police are currently investigating the incident but have yet to draw any conclusions.