Felivaru Fisheries Maldives Chairman sacked over allegations of corruption

Chairman of Felivaru Fisheries Maldives Ltd (FFM), Mohamed ‘Inthi’ Imthiyaz was yesterday sacked from his position over allegations of corruption.

Spokesperson of Presidents Office Abbas Adil Riza told local media that Imthiyaz was removed from his position following an investigation of corruption by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), allegations which included issuing of several cases of canned tuna on credit to a paper company under his name.

Imthiyaz is also the Registrar General of the Jumhoree Party (JP), led by business tycoon MP Gasim Ibrahim.

“The government’s view is that when a person is alleged to be involved in corruption he should be removed from his position in government or government affiliated company. Such cases will be investigated by independent institutions and being in such a position may hinder the investigation. So that was the principle that the government viewed,” said Riza, who is also a fellow JP council member.

President of ACC Hassan Luthfee confirmed to Minivan News that the case was filed and the investigation completed.

Imthiyaz, who is currently on a trip to Dubai, told local media he was not aware of the government’s decision to remove him from his position and rebutted the allegations, claiming that he had not done anything corrupt for government to remove him from the position.

“This case is about an allegation that one of the shops that I run took canned tuna cases on credit. Following the allegations I checked the transactions of the shops to confirm whether such a request was carried out but I didn’t find any. Also the board of FFM had not approved any such transaction,” he said earlier.

He further stated that he was giving full cooperation to ACC and added that he had been away from his business following his involvement in politics. Imthiyaz alleged the case was filed in ACC by political opponents to tarnish his image.

Minivan News tried contacting Imthiyaz but his phone was switched off.

Imthiyaz was the former Deputy Chairperson (Administrative) of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) but changes sides to the JP in February 2012 following the transfer of power. He was later nominated to the position of chairman of FFM by JP under its coalition agreement with the government of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

FFM is a government owned company formed during President Mohamed Nasheed’s tenure, after the splitting of the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO). Factories in Felivaru Island and Kooddoo Island were separated from MIFCO and made as into two different government companies: FFM and Kooddoo Fisheries Maldives (KFM) respectively. FFM specialises in producing high quality canned tuna and cooked loins for local and export markets.

Meanwhile corruption allegations have been levied up against several other appointees to the government companies.

Yesterday, Managing Director of MIFCO Hassan Shafiu and board members Ali Saifuddeen and Mohamed Wajeeh Ibrahim were also sacked from their positions over allegation of corruption.

Local newspaper Haveeru reported that the three were removed from their positions.

Minivan News tried contacting Shafiu but did not respond at time of press.

Speaking to Minivan News, ACC President Hassan Luthfee confirmed both cases had been filed.

He further added that Imthiyaz’s case had been finished and had sent a letter to Presidents Office regarding its findings. However he said that the MIFCO board members case is still under investigation and declined to provide any details.

Minivan News tried contacting Presidents’ Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza but he did not respond at time of press.