Government to compensate police officers for damages on February 8 unrest

The government will compensate police officers for damages incurred during nationwide unrest on February 8, 2012, Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed has announced.

According to police media, Waheed gave information concerning the planned compensation to senior officers at a meeting of the police management board today.

Waheed said individual police officers stationed across the country have yet to be compensated for physical harm and damage to personal property during the February 8 civil unrest.

“However, the commissioner of police said the government has now decided to arrange compensation very soon for police officers who suffered damages that day,” police said.

On February 8, thousands of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters led by former President Mohamed Nasheed took to the streets of the capital in protest against a “coup d’etat” they alleged was perpetrated by mutinous elements of the police and military the previous day.

A brutal crackdown on the protest march in Malé sparked riots across the country, which saw police vehicles, courts and police stations torched in Thinadhoo and Addu City. Police officers were forced off several other islands.

Following an investigation, the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) concluded that the heavy-handed police crackdown on the MDP walk was “brutal” and “without warning” while the “disproportionate” use of force left dozens of demonstrators injured and hospitalised.

 

cars on fireMore than 160 people from the southern atolls are currently facing terrorism charges for the acts of arson.

In addition to police motorbikes, police said today that phones, laptops, valuables, and other personal belongings such as clothes were also set on fire and completely destroyed during the unrest.

Several police officers were left with only the clothes they were wearing, police said.

Last month, the government decided to reinstate a discontinued service and merit allowance for both police and military personnel.

The allowances were discontinued in 2009 during former President Nasheed’s administration.

Security services personnel who have served between ten and 20 years were eligible for the service allowance, while policemen and army officers who have attained higher education were to be eligible for a professional allowance.

A similar allowance was to be given to officials who have undergone training related to their fields.

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INIA capacity will increase threefold with new runway and terminal, says economic council

Additional reporting by Hassan Mohamed

The capacity of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) will increase threefold to seven million passengers annually with the development of a new new runway alongside the previously announced new terminal, the cabinet’s economic council has revealed.

At a press briefing today, Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed said efforts were underway under the direct supervision of President Abdulla Yameen to secure financing for the projects.

“The previous development concept was only for the development of the terminal,” says Saeed.

“But now we are talking of a whole new airport. We are going to build a second runway. President Yameen wants to build a second runway. That means there is no debate to this.”

After presenting a conceptual video of the airport depicting the envisioned developments, Saeed said the government’s target was completing a large portion of the project by 2017.

“We estimate that MACL [Maldives Airports Company Ltd] will earn MVR6.4 billion (US$ 410 million) in revenue in 2017 as a result of the redevelopment,” Saeed explained, adding that the income would be unprecedented in the government-owned company’s history.

Under the new master plan, Saeed said the project for the second runway has been awarded to Chinese Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG), which has since submitted BOQ (bill of quantities) and designs to the Chinese Exim Bank.

The project – to be financed by a concessionary loan – also involves building a fuel farm and expanding the cargo terminal as well as the runway apron, Saeed noted.

The development of the airport terminal was awarded to Japanese Taisei Corporation and is to be financed by the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Saeed added.

Saeed revealed that he would be leaving for Tokyo in the coming weeks to fast-track the loan approval process, adding that construction could begin as soon as the loans are approved.

In December, MACL signed an agreement with Singapore’s Changi Airports International for consultancy in the development and expansion of INIA.

The estimated cost of the projects is US$845 million, Saeed continued, which includes improvements to the shore protection of Hulhulé Island, new seaplane facilities, new hangars, nine aero bridges, existing runway resurfacing and the relocation and demolition of existing facilities at the airport.

The redeveloped airport would also be connected to Hulhumalé via a new road, Saeed said.

Speaking at a ceremony last night, Saeed claimed that the Maldives will see US$600 million of foreign investment in the next five years.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada has recently alerted tourists on travelling to the Maldives, citing political instability after former president Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on terrorism charges.

Asked if the current unrest could adversely affect the Maldivian economy, Saeed urged the opposition to refrain from engaging in activities that could harm the tourism industry and the economy.

GMR Compensation

In June last year, Indian infrastructure giant GMR won an arbitration case against the government for the premature termination of its airport development agreement in 2012.

A Singaporean tribunal deemed the airport development contract “valid and binding” and the MACL liable for damages after former president Dr Mohamed Waheed’s administration declared the deal void ab initio (invalid from the outset).

The exact amount owed by MACL is to be determined after the second phase of the arbitration case, with GMR seeking US$1.4 billion in damages – a figure which exceeds the state budget for 2014.

However, Attorney General Mohamed Anil has contended that the government was liable only for GMR’s initial outlay of US$7 8million, plus any costs for construction work completed after the 2010 deal was agreed.

The US$511 million agreement to manage and develop INIA – signed during the tenure of former President Nasheed – represented the largest foreign direct investment in the Maldives’ history.

Chinese arrivals

Saeed meanwhile noted that Chinese tourist arrivals account for 35 percent of all tourist arrivals to the Maldives, predicting further growth in the coming years.

However, according to statistics from the Tourism Ministry, Chinese arrivals have been slowing down in the past months, with negative growth recorded during December and January.

“January 2015 was recorded as the worst performed month for the Chinese market to the Maldives so far, with a strong negative growth of 33.1 percent,” the ministry noted in a statement last week.

“China being the number one market to the Maldives, the negative growth registered from the market was reflected in the total arrivals to the country.”

However, Saeed insisted that arrivals would pick up this month with the Chinese new year celebrations on February 19 and continue to rise with the growth of outbound Chinese tourists, which reached 109 million last year.


Related to this story

Government seeks US$600 million from China and Japan for airport development

Tourist arrivals decline in January as Chinese arrivals slow down

GMR wins arbitration case, tribunal deems airport deal was “valid and binding”

Police arrest former President Mohamed Nasheed ahead of terrorism trial

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Government pays GMR US$ 4 million in arbitration fees

The Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) has paid US$4 million to Indian infrastructure giant GMR as compensation for legal costs of arbitration proceedings in Singapore.

Following an 18-month arbitration process, a Singapore tribunal ruled last month that a concession agreement with the GMR-led consortium to manage and develop the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) was “valid and binding” and held the government and MACL “jointly and severally liable in damages” for losses caused by the premature termination of the contract in December 2012.

The Singapore Court of Appeal ordered the Maldivian government and the 100 percent government-owned airports company to pay GMR US$4 million within 42 days for the cost of arbitration proceedings.

Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad told Sun Online last week that the US$4 million was paid out of the MACL’s revenues and not the state budget.

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MDP to sue former President Waheed for defamation, damages over GMR airport deal cancellation

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is preparing to sue former President Dr Mohamed Waheed for defamation and damages over his administration’s unilateral termination of the GMR airport development deal.

The main opposition party announced in a press statement on Thursday (June 19), following a Singapore arbitration tribunal ruling that the agreement was “valid and binding”, that it would pursue legal action against the former president and other responsible parties in both Maldivian and international courts.

“Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik and his coup partners had spread falsehoods concerning the GMR agreement, incited hostility and antagonism towards the MDP among the public, and attempted to defame this party,” the press statement read.

“And [they] plunged the nation into serious strife and discord, paved for the way for a coup, and toppled the first democratically elected government of the Maldives in a coup d’etat.”

The party contended that Dr Waheed’s administration was responsible for the compensation the Maldivian government would likely have to pay GMR – which would be “a financial burden the country cannot bear” – as well as loss of investor confidence, soured bilateral relations, and the damage to the Maldives’ international reputation.

The concession agreement signed with the GMR-led consortium in July 2010 to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport was beneficial to the Maldives, the statement continued, and its abrupt termination was unlawful.

“Void ab initio”

In November 2012, following a campaign spearheaded by Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla calling for the nationalisation of the airport, Dr Waheed’s cabinet declared the concession agreement void ab initio – invalid from the outset – and gave the consortium a seven-day ultimatum to hand over the airport.

On December 7, the government took over the airport and evicted GMR, prompting the Indian infrastructure giant to seek US$1.4 billion in compensation for “wrongful termination” of the contract – an amount that eclipses the country’s annual state budget.

In a letter sent to the Bombay Stock Exchange last week, GMR explained that the arbitration tribunal concluded the Maldivian government and the Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) were “jointly and severally liable in damages to GMIAL for loss caused by wrongful repudiation of the agreement as per the concession agreement.”

The determination of liability – the first of two phases of arbitration – will now be followed by the determining of compensation owed.

In the wake of the arbitration decision, Attorney General Mohamed Anil said that President Abdulla Yameen’s administration would honour the verdict while expressing confidence that the government would not have to pay the US$1.4 billion sought by GMR.

“According to the agreement, [we] mostly have to compensate for the investments made. We said we do not have to pay the amount GMR has claimed. We always said we will have to pay compensation, and that this compensation has to come through the agreement,” Anil told reporters on Thursday.

President Yameen had predicted in April that GMR would only be owed US$300 million in compensation.

False pretext

Meanwhile, addressing supporters in Malé at an MDP maahefun (traditional celebratory feast ahead of Ramadan) Thursday night, former President Mohamed Nasheed argued that opposition parties misled the public to topple the MDP government in February 2012 with false allegations.

Opposition parties at the time had claimed that privatising the international airport posed a threat to Maldivian independence and sovereignty as well as Islam, Nasheed recalled.

The concession agreement with the GMR-led consortium was characterised as detrimental to the Maldives, he added, which was used as the pretext for the “coup” on February 7.

“Today it is becoming clear to us that the agreement was valid, and that it was terminated in violation of legal principles as well as international norms, in a way that causes serious damage to the Maldivian people,” Nasheed suggested.

Referring to AG Anil’s insistence that the compensation figure would not be too high, Nasheed accused President Yameen’s administration of continuing to mislead the public.

Nasheed stressed that the amount owed to GMR as compensation was not yet clear, noting however that the arbitration tribunal has ordered the government to pay US$4 million to the company to cover its legal expenses.

“The question we are asking now is, who will be paying those dollars? The dollars will be paid from our pockets. Legal action must be taken against those responsible for us having to pay these dollars,” he insisted.

“We have to seek compensation for the damage caused to our government. We know, we can see, that President Yameen’s government will not last. We know that President Yameen’s government does not have the support of the people. They cannot rule over all of the people in this country with the support of just 25 percent of the public.”

Changing the current government was “a duty and an obligation” for the MDP, the former president said, advising supporters not to despair.

“God willing, our courage will not flag. We will not be afraid and we will not back down either,” he said.

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Government will honor arbitration verdict, says attorney general

President Abdulla Yameen’s administration will honor a Singaporean tribunal’s ruling on compensation owed to Indian infrastructure GMR for the terminated airport development deal in order to uphold investor confidence, Attorney General Mohamed Anil said.

The Rt Hon Lord Hoffman’s Tribunal on Wednesday found the contract termination to be wrongful and ordered the Maldives government and Maldives Airports Company Pvt Ltd (MACL) to compensate GMR for losses.

The exact figure is to be set in the next phase of arbitration.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Anil said he is certain the figure will not amount to GMR’s initial claim of US$ 1.4 billion – the figure eclipses the country’s annual budget.

“According to the agreement, [we] mostly have to compensate for the investments made. We said we do not have to pay the amount GMR has claimed. We always said we will have to pay compensation, and that this compensation has to come through the agreement,” explained the AG.

“That is why the compensation amount has been limited. This amount will not go up to the US$1.4 billion GMR is claiming,” Anil said.

He called the limitation of damages a success for the government of Maldives.

In April, Yameen predicted GMR would only be owed US$300 million in compensation.

Minivan News understands the concession agreement allows MACL to terminate the agreement for reasons of public interest and imposes a cap on losses.

A lawyer familiar with the case said the government must thank the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) – under which the GMR won the concession – for its foresight in inserting the clause.

The lawyer further said that the government had chosen to terminate the agreement “in the worst possible way” despite the existence of provisions for lawful termination.

“And in the process, it affected foreign investor confidence in the Maldives, the country’s reputation and it strained our relationship with India,” he added.

GMR won the 25-year concession agreement to develop and manage Ibrahim Nasir International Airport under former President Mohamed Nasheed. The US$ 511 million deal was the country’s single largest foreign investment.

The opposition at the time attacked the deal as part of a vitriolic anti- government campaign, which eventually led to Nasheed’s ouster in February 2012.

In December 2012, new President Dr Mohamed Waheed declared the agreement void ab intio – or invalid from the outset – and gave GMR seven days to leave.

The agreement’s abrupt termination saw cooling of relations with neighbor India and questions regarding foreign investor confidence in the Maldives – issues Yameen has sought to address since his election in November.

The World Bank in December said GMR compensation will place severe pressure on the country’s already “critically low” foreign reserves.

As of April 2014, the Maldives’ gross foreign reserve stood at US$ 434.8 million. Meanwhile, the total outstanding external debt at the end of 2013 stood at US$ 793.6 million dollars. Debt amounts to 34.6 percent of the country’s GDP.

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President predicts US$300 million compensation for GMR

The Maldivian government believes GMR is owed US$300 million in compensation for the premature termination of the contract to develop the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) instead of the US$1.4 billion the company is seeking, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom told reporters upon his return to Malé last night.

Speaking to press after returning from Singapore to attend the Maldives Investment Forum, President Yameen insisted that the arbitration proceedings over GMR’s compensation claim has not deterred investors.

The INIA development project was the most popular among attendees at the forum, he said.

“The biggest interest was for the airport,” Yameen said.

The event – which took place on April 25 – was attended by over over 160 companies and nearly 200 representatives from 16 countries, and was the first overseas investor forum organised by the Maldives.

GMR compensation claim

Speaking to the press at the airport, Yameen argued that the previous government was within its rights to terminate the contract as it “damaged state and national interests”.

But since GMR had carried out some of the development works at the airport, the government has to pay compensation, he conceded.

President Yameen said that the compensation payment would affect the state budget, but added that $300 million is a “manageable” sum.

The state-owned Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), which now manages the airport, is “saving up” that sum, he said.

This statement comes after GMR is reportedly sticking to the US$1.4 billion compensation claim for the abrupt termination by the Maldivian government in December 2012.

“The forceful takeover of the airport by Maldives government amounts to repudiation of a valid contract and therefore damages, including loss of future profit has to paid. Thus, GMR’s claim is $1.4 billion,” Indian media reported the Bangalore-based infrastructure giant as saying in a statement on Friday (April 25).

Investment forum

On the investor forum, President Yameen said companies were also interested in developing a trans-shipment port in the north of the country, along with economic stimulation investments in Hulhumale’.

The island is a reclamation project to the north of Male’ to cater for the housing, industrial and developmental demands of the capital.

“Alongside (interests for the airport), there was (interest) for the economic development of Hulhumale’,” President Yameen said.

“Some large Chinese companies brought us (proposals) to develop a township in Hulhumale’, in addition to different (development) components for the airport. God willing, if we can put the effort, there is a lot to be gained here,” he added.

Moreover, the Ministry of Transport is seeking investors for building four new domestic airports. They are to be established on Haa Alif Huvanadhoo, Alif Alif Mathiveri, Faafu Magoodhoo and Meemu Muli.

The government is proposing leasing one or two islands for 25 years for resort development to the investors under a public-private partnership (PPP) programme in addition to a customs duty exemption for all equipment and material imported for the airport projects.

Moreover, the government has also made an announcement seeking a developer to expand Hanimaadhoo International Airport in the north of the country.

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Ports workers’ familes to receive monetary compensation from MPL

The Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) board last Thursday decided to pay MVR10,000 to the families of the workers killed in an accident on April 7, local media has reported.

In addition to the payment, the youngest child in both families will receive a monthly payment of MVR15,000 till they are eighteen years old.

Mohamed Nashid, 32, from Kudafary in Noonu atoll and Ibrahim Shareef, 36, from Malé were both killed when the crane’s wire snapped while loading a container onto the boat. The crane’s operator, Imran, fainted on seeing the incident and suffered minor injuries as a result.

Following the fatal incident the Ministry of Transport has announced an infrastructure and operations audit for of all commercial harbours in the the country.

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ACC defends report on airport privatisation deal as Sheikh Imran insinuates bribery from GMR

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has issued a press statement defending its investigative report of the airport privatisation deal signed by the previous government, harshly condemning “false and misleading” remarks by politicians of government-aligned parties.

On June 17, the ACC released a 61-page investigative report concluding that there was no corruption in the awarding of a concession agreement to a consortium of Indian infrastructure giant GMR and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) to develop and manage the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

The report was met with strong criticism and bribery allegations from parties in the government coalition.

Insisting that the government’s stand would not change as a result of the ACC findings, President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that “if there is a reasonable cause of doubt, this report can be contested by some parties.’

“Many people say here that the ACC Board is not an unbiased organisation. They say it is politically motivated,” he was quoted as saying.

Religious conservative Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran meanwhile described the report as “a slap in the people’s face” while President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Inthihaad Party (GIP) Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza accused ACC members of corruption.

In an appearance on pro-government private broadcaster DhiTV last night (June 23), Imran insinuated that ACC members accepted bribes from GMR offered through former Indian High Commissioner D M Mulay.

The ACC report was “a highly unprofessional, semi-technical and procedural review” that did not amount to either a proper investigation or an audit, Imran said, calling for “a full-fledged investigation.”

In November 2012, the current administration abruptly terminated the US$500 million contract with the GMR-led consortium, declared the concession agreement ‘void ab initio’ (invalid from the outset), and gave GMR seven days’ notice to leave the country.

The decision followed weeks of protest by a self-titled “National Movement” spearheaded by Sheikh Imran and senior government officials – born out of the unofficial December 23 coalition of eight political parties and an alliance of NGOs that rallied at a mass gathering to “defend Islam” in late 2011 – calling on the government to “reclaim” and nationalise the airport.

Last Friday, GMR filed a claim for US$1.4 billion in compensation from the Maldives at ongoing arbitration proceedings in Singapore over “wrongful termination” of the contract.

Meanwhile, former Attorney General Azima Shukoor, who headed the cabinet committee that advised termination of the contract, contended on DhiTV last week that the ACC report was “incomplete” as the commission had overlooked several key factors.

“Did they omit the factors deliberately or unknowingly or simply just overlooked them? But a lot of factors have been overlooked and omitted from the report. The state will suffer great losses because of it. Especially when the country is tied up in a judicial case,” she was quoted as saying by newspaper Haveeru.

ACC response

ACCIn its press release on Thursday (June 19), the ACC stated that its investigation was “not based on what politicians say at podiums and in the media.”

“Instead, the case was investigated based on relevant information collected for the investigation, documents and statements taken after questioning those involved in the case,” the ACC said, denying the allegations of undue influence on its members or staff.

The ACC statement added that the commission in concluding investigations adhered to article 25 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2008, and did not reach its conclusions “after considering the wishes of a particular politician.”

The commission noted that it had not responded to any political rhetoric targeting the ACC in the past, adding that all corruption investigations followed criminal justice procedures, the ACC Act and regulations under the law.

The statement explained that article 25(a)(2) of the Act required the commission to submit cases for prosecution if sufficient evidence to secure a conviction was gathered.

In the absence of evidence to prove corrupt dealings, article 25(a)(1) of the Act stipulates that the commission must declare that the case does not involve corruption.

The report made public last week contained information collected for the investigation, observations and the reasoning for reaching the conclusion “without any omissions or additions,” the ACC added.

“This is the first time that an investigative report of a case investigated by the commission has been made public like this,” the statement continued. “It was released that way to provide details of the case to the public as transparently as possible.”

The ACC further noted that in December 2012 the commission submitted a case to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) requesting criminal prosecution over the previous government’s decision to deduct a court-blocked Airport Development Charge (ADC) from concession fees owed to the state.

The ACC asked the PGO to seek reimbursement of MVR 353.8 million (US$22.9 million) from former MACL Chair Ibrahim ‘Bandhu’ Saleem and former Finance Minister Mohamed Shihab over the alleged misuse of authority the commission contended had led to significant financial losses for the state.

Bribery allegations

Responding to remarks in local media last week by an unnamed ACC member alleging that Imran attempted to influence the outcome of the investigation, the Adhaalath Party President admitted on DhiTV last night that he met commission members while the “National Movement” protests were ongoing.

Imran said he met ACC members after learning of efforts by GMR to bribe politicians through the former Indian High Commissioner Mulay.

Mulay also requested meetings with Imran himself on numerous occasions “through some of our ministers and even by directly calling our office,” he claimed.

Upon hearing of meetings between Mulay and ACC members, Imran said the leaders of the “National Movement” met commission members to “advise against accepting bribes.”

“[ACC members] said, ‘how can we go near that? we have sworn an oath,'” Imran said.

He claimed the ACC members told him that “the roots go deep” in the GMR deal and that former President Nasheed “completed the deal in Singapore.”

ACC members informed Imran that bribes from GMR was deposited to bank accounts in countries near Singapore, he claimed, while the commission members provided assurances that “everything would be made clear” once the investigative report was made public.

Imran said he would reveal further details of the “National Movement’s” meeting with ACC members if the commission responded to the allegations.

“In any case, we were working to liberate the airport on behalf of religion and the nation,” he said, adding that the government eventually decided to terminate the agreement without waiting for the ACC report.

As a result of pressure from the protests, he continued, the government was convinced it was not in the national interest to persist with the contract.

Imran also insinuated that the ACC would receive a portion of the US$1.4 billion compensation figure claimed by GMR.

State Minister for Home Affairs Abdulla Mohamed, who was part of the protests against GMR, meanwhile argued that the ACC releasing its report a few days before an arbitration hearing could not be “a coincidence.”

“Do we really have to comply with a court order from a Singaporean court?” he asked.

He contended that the Maldivian government would not have to compensate GMR despite a decision in favour of the consortium at the ongoing arbitration proceedings.

“Also, we can appeal such a judgment in Maldivian courts, can’t we? That’s not prohibited by Maldivian law. There’s no obstacle to that. So this is not something that the public should be concerned about at all,” he said.

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Government issues MVR 62.7 million compensation claim for stranded ship reef damage

The government has issued a MVR 62.7 million (US$ 4 million) compensation claim for damages caused to the coral reef on Male’s east coast by a stranded cargo ship.

Earlier this month (January 7) a 27,000-ton vessel called ‘Auguste Schulte’ became stranded in shallow water while attempting to make a turn near the coast of the Raalhugandu area in Male’.

Tug boats, assisted by the Maldives National Defence Force, were able to refloat the 213 metre long ship after a three-hour effort, local media reported.

A subsequent investigation by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) calculated the damage to the reef to be worth MVR 62,733,800, Chairman of the Transport Authority Abdul Rasheed Nafiz told Minivan News.

“[Auguste Schulte’s local operator] Silver Company can either pay the fine to the government so the ship can continue its voyage or pay a bank guarantee should they wish to carry out their own investigation and let the ship leave.

“From what I understand, [Silver Company] intend to carry out their own survey and through that they will try negotiate the compensation claim cost,” Nafiz added.

The Transport Authority Chairman said that the Attorney General had stated under the Environment Protection Law that the government has the right to assess the damage to reef and calculate the cost of such damage.

The Transport Authority earlier stated that the government could impose a fine of MVR 85,000 (US$ 5,508) per square metre of damage caused to the reef.

Mohammed Nabeel, Managing Director of Silver Company, told local media that the company had begun efforts to try and secure the bank guarantee that currently stood at $4 million.

“We are trying to make sure that the ship departs as soon as possible. We do believe that there must be a fine in this matter, but the government has also said that there is room for negotiation,” he was quoted as saying by Sun Online.

Nabeel added that the company was also trying to assess the damages caused by the stranded vessel, and that negotiations will be based on their findings, local media reported.

Previously, a ship operated by Delmas – the same company local media reported to have owned Auguste Schulte – became stranded in the same area for 20 days.

Nabeel told local media that the compensation claim for that previous ship was set at MVR 4.5 million (US$ 291,828), adding that the contrast between the two figures is “remarkable”.

Responding to these comments, Nafiz said that the EPA has produced a report on the latest damage and Silver Company will be able to compare the two incidents as the conclusion is based on “the same formula”.

Environment Protection Agency were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

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