A woman has been sentenced to exile for three years and seven months by the Criminal Court for misappropriation of tsunami relief funds.
Criminal Court said that Sharmeela Sharaeef of Oivaru, Meedhoo in Dhaalu Atoll, had been initially been handed MVR 266,888 (US$17,307) by the government on September 16, 2009, local media reported.
However, only MVR 89,572 (US$5800) was distributed to 49 households and the remaining MVR 177,316 (US$11,500) had been kept in her desk drawer, according to local media.
The money was provided by the government to be distributed to farmers on the island of Meedhoo in Dhaalu Atoll, who suffered losses during the 2004 tsunami.
The Criminal Court ruling stated that one day after she had been handed the relief funds, MVR 13,200 kept in Sharmeela’s care had gone missing.
The ruling stated that it could not be proven in court that a copy of the drawer key was held by anyone else other than Sharmeela.
According to the Public Finance Act, money kept in an office on a temporary basis should only be kept in a safe, local media reported.