CSC says Shakir retirement not linked to Facebook sex photo scandal

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has said that its decision to retire a former Director General of Male’ Municipality on his request was not linked to his suspension over a police investigation into his alleged appearance in the Facebook blackmail images.

CSC Director General Abdulla Saeed said that despite the suspension of Adam Shakir in relation to his alleged inclusion in graphic images obtained by a suspected online blackmail ring, the decision had been taken to grant his retirement and all related benefits as he had not been found guilty.

“Shakir requested to the commission (CSC) that he retire at his current age of 58 and according to the Maldivian Civil Service Act he was eligible to do so,” he said. “When the CSC got the request we decided to retire him.”

The Director General position at Male’ Municipality has since been changed to the title of secretariat for Male’ City Council.

Pointing to the Civil Service Act that outlines regulation for public sector employees, Saeed said that it was possible to retire staff once they reached 55 years of age. He added that Shakir’s suspension in relation to an ongoing police investigation had not impacted on this decision to grant retirement or his right to receive benefits as a result.

A number of high profile government and public figures are reportedly suspected of being depicted in the images already thought to be circulating the internet, although the CSC claimed it would not be acting on allegations alone.

“There is no relation between the suspension and the retirement decision. Shakir was suspended on information we had received but this has not gone to court yet and does not mean that he is guilty [of the allegations],” the CSC director general added. “Normally after a police investigation, it is for the court to decide whether a suspect is guilty.”

Newspaper Haveeru yesterday claimed that retirement had been granted on the grounds of the suspended civil servant’s health.

Although the investigation over the legitimacy of the alleged indecent images was continuing, Saeed said that Shakir was no longer a civil servant following his retirement and that there would not be a review of the decision to grant retirement benefits following the outcome of any potential trial in the future.

Blackmail investigation

The investigation into the alleged Facebook blackmail scandal has not yet led to any arrests regarding those alleged to have obtained or appeared in the images, though police have stressed that they are continuing to look into the case.

Police Sub Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News today that officers were unable to confirm the identity of any individuals under investigation on suspicion of involvement or inclusion in the videos and images due to the “complex nature” of the potential crimes. However, Shiyam confirmed that the CSC has sent information to the police that is was currently looking into as part of its investigations.

On Saturday, the Maldives Police Service confirmed that it was now holding four individuals in custody over their suspected involvement in the alleged plot to blackmail high profile figures with graphic images obtained via social network site Facebook after releasing another three suspects as part of its investigation.

The case first came to light in February, when police revealed that 14 individuals including a minor had been arrested on suspicion of obtaining hundreds of nude pictures and videos that were stored on computers and external hard drives. It was alleged that these images had been obtained through fake Facebook profiles that used the identical image of a young woman.

Police said at the time that two profiles with the names of ‘Lyshiaa Limanom’ and ‘Angelic Sharrown’ respectively were used by the suspects to gather files of individuals pictured in some cases performing explicit acts in the presence of minors. Investigators stated that they would also be investigating people pictured in the files to verify if any crimes had actually been committed within the images themselves.