Maleesha Hajj Group owner denies fraud charges in court

Maleesha Hajj Group owner Islmail Abdul Latheef ,who is being accused of fraudulently collecting funds from Maldivians who wanted to perform Hajj in Mecca last year, has denied charges against him in the Criminal Court.

Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed today asked Ismail Abdul Latheef to state the reasons as to why he had denied the charges. Latheef requested he be given time to respond.

Judge Abdulla Mohamd asked Ismail Abdul Latheef to state his reasons during the next hearing held.

At today’s hearing the state was given the opportunity to produce evidence against him, however the state attorney refused to produce the evidence before Ismail Abdul Latheef stated his reasons as to why he was denying the charges.

The PG has alleged that Latheef had fraudulently obtained MVR 8 million (US$519,000 ) from many people after they made payments to the Maleesha Hajj Group to travel to Mecca to perform Hajj.

Latheef was arrested in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2012, a month after police issued an Interpol red notice to locate and apprehend him. Authorities were reported to have arrested Latheef while he was in the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo.

Hajj groups are authorised by the government to provide transport and accommodation for pilgrims in Mecca, as well as offering guidance in helping them complete the religious rituals.

At the time, Sri Lankan police told local newspaper Haveeru that Abdul Latheef was suspected of being involved in a Sri Lankan money laundering ring as well, and that he was also suspected of collecting money from Sri Lankans.

Latheef’s father is the head of the Athama Hajj Group.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Criminal Court asks PG to revise charges against Maleesha Hajj Group owner

The Criminal Court has asked the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office to revise charges pressed against Ismail Abdul Latheef, the owner of Maleesha Hajj Group, claiming the charges filed against him were incorrect.

The PG has alleged that Latheef had fraudulently obtained MVR 8 million (US$519,000 ) from many people after they made payments to the Maleesha Hajj Group to travel to Mecca to perform Hajj.

Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed told the PG’s lawyers that the case related to the rights of many people and that the result of the lawsuit might be different if the trial was carried out in its current state, according to local media present at the court today.

The Court has given a three day period for the PG to revise the charges against Latheef.

Attending the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Clients of the company were not able to go to Mecca this year to perform the religious obligation.

Latheef was arrested in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2012, a month after police issued an Interpol red notice to locate and apprehend him. Authorities were reported to have arrested Latheef while he was in the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo.

Hajj groups are authorised by the government to provide transport and accommodation for pilgrims in Mecca, as well as offering guidance in helping them complete the religious rituals.

Latheef’s father is the head of the Athama Hajj Group.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Group storms home of Maleesha Hajj Group owner over fraud allegations

A group of people forced their way into the home of Maleesha Hajj Group owner Ismail Abdul Latheef yesterday (April 16) to confront him over allegations his company had defrauded 175 Maldivians seeking to perform the Hajj pilgrimage last year.

Latheef, 42, allegedly collected MVR 68,000 (US$4,400) each from the 175 would-be pilgrims before fleeing the country.

Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News today that police were informed about the incident at about 9:22pm yesterday and moved quickly to the scene where the protesters had gathered.

“In a short amount of time, police officers attended the area and dispersed the crowed,” Haneef said, adding that no confrontations occurred between protesters and police.

Police also confirmed to Minivan News that no arrests were made during last night’s gathering.

The protesters entered the house and yelled at Latheef’s father, who chose not to respond to the group, remaining silent, according to local media.

Some people have claimed Latheef was inside the house when they went in, accusing him of hiding somewhere inside the residence, local media reported.

In October 2012, the Saudi Gazette reported that Latheef’s father was in Mecca performing his 35th pilgrimage.

Hajj groups are authorised by the government to provide transport and accommodation for pilgrims in Mecca, as well as offering guidance in helping them complete the religious rituals.

Latheef’s father is the head of the Athama Hajj Group.

Latheef was meanwhile arrested in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2012, a month after police issued an Interpol red notice to locate and apprehend him.  Authorities were reported to have arrested Latheef while he was at the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo.

He was released from remand detention and placed under house arrest in January.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Maleesha Hajj Group owner arrested in Srilanka

Police have located and arrested the owner of the Maleesha Hajj Group Ismail Abul Latheef, who was sought by the police through Interpol after he fraudulently collected money from many Maldivians seeking ti perform Hajj this year.

Police have not provided details of the case but local media reported that Latheef was arrested while he was at the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo.

Sri Lankan police told Haveeru that Abdul Latheef was suspected of being involved in a Sri Lankan money laundering ring, and that he was suspected of collecting money from Sri Lankans as well.

Local newspapers reported that Latheef has been brought to Male’ and taken to the Criminal Court, where the court granted police a five day extension of  detention period.

The Maleesha Hajj Group was set up by Latheef and had an office in Male’. Maldivians who wished to perform the Hajj usually opt to go through Hajj groups rather than going alone, and are guided through the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Police issued a notice for the arrest of the 42 year-old in late September after it was alleged that he had defrauded 175 people of MVR 12 million (US$778,000), after they made payments to the Maleesha Hajj Group to travel to Mecca to perform Hajj.

On October 2, Interpol issued a red notice to locate and apprehend Latheef.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Allegedly fraudulent head of Maleesha Hajj Group in Malaysia, reveal police

Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz has told parliament’s Government Oversight Committee that police have received reports that the Head of Maleesha Hajj Group, Ismail Abdul Latheef is in Malaysia.

Police began searching for 42 year-old in late September after it was alleged that he had defrauded 175 people of MVR 12 million (US$778,000) after they made payments to the Maleesha Hajj Group to travel to Mecca to perform Hajj.

Riyaz said police were trying to verify the information concerning Latheef’s whereabouts.

Officials from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and police were summoned by parliament’s Government Oversight Committee to determine the progress they had made in locating Latheef, and the missing money.

Latheef was reported to police after people who had made the Hajj payment realised that the group’s office had been closed for days without any response.

On October 2, Interpol issued a red notice to locate and apprehend Latheef.

Attending the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Clients of the company were not able to go to Mecca this year to perform the religious obligation.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)