Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) Chief Executive Officer Mahdi Imad has been removed from his post by the government, before being appointed as Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications a few hours later.
Imad told local media that although the President’s Office had sent him a letter informing him of his dismissal, no official reasons had been given.
Local media reported earlier this week that the MPL Board of Directors had approved remuneration of MVR 120,000 (US$7800) and MVR 130,000 (US$8400) for the two posts of Managing Director and CEO that Imad filled at MPL.
In addition to this, the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) sent a case against Imad to the Prosecutor General (PG) in 2012, on allegations of an act of corruption committed by abusing his powers as Managing Director of MPL.
The ACC alleged that Imad used his influence as Managing Director at MPL to secure a law degree scholarship in Malaysia for an employee who had not completed the required one year term required to qualify.
The ACC stated that Mahdi had secured this scholarship in 2009 despite funding for the course not being included in the year’s allocated budget. The commission also stated that as MD, Mahdi had not presented the opportunity to apply for the course to other employees working in the company at the time.
President Mohamed Waheed Hassan last week also liquidated the eight member MPL board, of which Imad was a sitting member.
The board consisted of CEO Mahdi Imad, Mohamed Shiyam, Abdul Matheen Ahmed, Ibrahim Zaki, Riyaz, Ahmed Nasir, Hussain Areef and Mohamed Hashim.
Waheed liquidated the board after the ACC advised him to remove board member Mohamed Shiyam, due to his refusal to provide documents required by the ACC to conduct an investigation into additional corruption allegations concerning MPL.
President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad said that the government had not heard officially of any corruption allegations against Mahdi Imad.
“We completely liquidated the board, and the rest of the members have not been given any new appointments. When it comes to Mahdi though, we have no problem with him. So we simply transferred him to another post,” Masood Imad said.
Masood confirmed that Mahdi Imad had been removed from both CEO and MD of MPL.
A leaked audio clip apparently of Deputy CEO of Maldives Ports Limited, Ahmed Faiz, has been aired on opposition-aligned Raajje TV after it appeared on Maldivian social media and went viral.
In the 15 minute audio, Faiz speaks in detail about his intention to hire his audience as government supporters, President Mohamed Waheed’s reluctance to maintain ties with PPM, an intention to “wipe [former President] Maumoon out of the political picture”, other problems arising in the current ‘unity’ government, his own influence within the State Trading Organisation (STO), and large amounts of money being illicitly obtained.
Faiz is a member of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s Gaumee Itthihaad Party (GIP), and was previously appointed by him as the Managing Director of the Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC).
In the audio, Faiz boasts that he is a “close confidante” of the President, and that he had been given many assignments to help his presidency.
RaajjeTV initially aired a shorter three minute audio of Faiz, in which he boasts of being the main actor in toppling the Nasheed administration.
He goes on to say that if the change of power was indeed a coup for which the punishment was the death penalty in Islamic Shar’ia, then he himself ought to be the first to be sentenced.
Faiz confirmed to Minivan News that the clip was authentic, but said it had been recorded five months ago and cut and edited together. He had no further comment.
Ahmed Faiz: Not necessarily going out into the streets with huge knives and attacking people, okay? What I want is, for example, when the key people who are involved in this are in a certain place… for example, four or five of these people might be in a coffee-shop. You go in there, do you understand? You go and barge in right into the middle, and say, no need to be discreet at all, just say it out loud openly, ‘Hey you (expletive) dogs, this country is being destroyed because of you (expletive). Don’t even think you can do what you please with this country..’
You know what I’m saying. Start off in this manner, and then say ‘We support this government. We will keep protecting this government as long as there is even a single drop of blood left in us.’
Go on like this and say ‘If you continue to go on like that, we are willing to risk our lives.’ And you all should not stay in your homes, always be in cafes, you people should be in all the cafes of Male’ at all times. You should be in all the popular ones, especially those the opposition frequent.
You should also go on motorcycle rides. What you will do is go around on your motorcycles one night, all around Male’, yelling things like ‘Ganjabo’ (pothead) and finish it up in about half an hour. Small things like this need to be done.
What I’m saying is, this government is now appointing people to different posts and it’s getting structured in the manner we want. Now there is a lot of things that I can do. Material benefits can be gained, and lots of other things. Credit from STO (State Trading Organisation) worth millions of rufiya, that’s absolutely welcome. Do you get it? Then maybe funds are needed for some activity, for example, ‘Please arrange this amount of cash needed for something’. I will get that done. Or perhaps, ‘From this project, give us this amount of money’. Now when it’s put like that, it seems somewhat twisted to me. I tend to see that like cutting a ‘deal’.
Unidentified person 1: Like a deal, eh?
Faiz: (unclear) so what I, too, want is to (unclear) all of us staying in connection (unclear) can go even higher than that. If this government continues to stay in power, if I continue to stay in there, then something will come out of this, right? For example, freeing someone who’s been put in jail. These are things which do not involve money that I can get done simply through a single phone call. So…
Unidentified person 1: Is there anyone you need to be set free from jail?
Unidentified person 2: Not yet. We’ll have to get someone in there first.
Person 2: We’ll have to get someone in there, to then get him released.
Faiz: So, I’ve told you what needs to be done, generally. Tell me an approximate amount.
Person 1: Faiz, you tell us an amount.
Faiz: No, no, I won’t name an amount.
Person 1: No, you don’t name a price. Let Faiz.
Person 2: Wait, wait, wait.
Faiz: Ok, now, the President knows very well that the youth are angry for this particular reason. The President is not at all happy about having to give some posts to PPM people. He has put them into posts which will be the least influential when it comes to matters of the state.
The truth is that there is quite a lot of support for Maumoon too, and we have to accept that. If a political gathering is to be held in this country, at this moment it’s only PPM or MDP that can gather a good amount of people. No one else can do it, ok? This is the political reality of now.
We are not at all aiming to keep them close to us. The real objective is to destroy this… thing… that Maumoon has. This cannot be done by even Anni, or by anyone else in this country, unless we stay within them, and let them into the government. There is simply no other way. Now I’ve gone and said something I was not meaning to share! I have just shared with you a huge secret.
There is no way anyone can rule this country by sidelining Maumoon. We have to bring in people close to Maumoon, the youthful, educated citizens… Do you know? Already, they are themselves extending offers, claiming they don’t want to work with Maumoon, they prefer Waheed and want to continue working with him. Asking Waheed to get ready for the next government, many of these high level people we speak of.
So, in truth, what we want is to wipe Maumoon out of the picture. We won’t bother DRP (Dhivehi Rayithunge Party). We know very well that they are not capable of taking any portion of the Maldives. What’s left is MDP. Efforts are underway now to clean out MDP too. Even now the evil people in it are being pushed out and it’s becoming cleaner. So that’s how things are now.
Okay now I am making way for a remuneration. Even this credit term that I am giving now is worth a lot of money.
Person 1: Yes, we believe that.
Faiz: Lots of money. If you have the will… now, I’m giving you credit for about 60 days, or 90 days, and even if there is still a slight delay, that’s also fine, so you can make money out of it.
Now in addition to this, I am guaranteeing you that I will get you a million rufiya, if you stay with us. That I will find you a million rufiya. In any case, I will have power within this government, until 2013, do you understand? In the next couple of days, next two weeks or so, this money that I have planned for will start coming into my hands. I am in a powerful position at a place where I can get the most money, neither a managing director nor a board member can be here in a way I disapprove. I have ensured that.
I do this work in STO too. I will be getting one or two hundred thousand rufiya. I will be getting money. The purpose of obtaining this money is to get this certain thing done. Not me getting rich. The President’s intention is to get this done. This is what he said at me even tonight. ‘What can you get done, Faiz?? What is there that you have asked for, Faiz, that hasn’t been met?’ So these things…
Faiz: I am assuring you 100 percent that as long as this government continues to be in power, and as long as what I ask for is done, I won’t walk away. If what is asked for is not given number one priority, than that area of the government will be no more, the person in charge of that area will be no more.
Unidentified person 1: We are saying it as it is…
Faiz: Keep watching. In the next two weeks I will (unclear). I know it might be hard. (unclear) won’t be going for a hundred thousand rufiya. So this must be around enough. I will help you out of the small hardships in your business. Make sure (unclear) can do business in the right way, okay?
Person 1: Okay, no problem
Faiz: So plan this out very well, ok. And if there are youth needing jobs, bring them. I’ll get them into STO. Then they will have permanent jobs too. Each of them will get about six to eight thousand rufiya as salary. And it won’t be easy to just fire and replace them or anything, okay?
We can only get things done in whatever way things go best at any given time, okay? I also have in my hands a company that the President has given me. That’s MNBC. I’m the Managing Director there. And through that I have about 9 or 10 million rufiya. If there is no other way, I’ll just wipe all of that out too. Seriously. If I have to do that for political reasons, I won’t hesitate at all. I won’t be reluctant to do anything it takes to protect the President’s post or the President himself. Then later, I will just have to burn all the paperwork. Even now I have 20 million rufiya.
Person1 : For real?
Faiz: It’s not just a job when handling the highest matters of the state. After I got out of that house at 1.30am in the morning, even now there will be some (expletive), and was just getting on my motorcycle in front of the Justice Building, he calls again and speaks of further things we can do.
I have spoken to him without anyone else there. Just him, his wife, and me, the three of us. He won’t talk about these things in front of any other being in this country, I swear by Allah.
I mean, you know Maumoon, right? His character and the cosmetic face that he shows? Waheed won’t show anything besides that to anyone, except for me. Now you get what I am saying, right? My stand is, this government is running with the participation of many political parties, it is nothing but a (expletive).
None of these (expletives) can do anything, there’s no one in there who even got a minister’s post without calling me first. Even Thasmeen and them come and ask for posts. Then we decide whether or not to give a post, or which post goes to whom. There isn’t even a single post that has been given in this government without first discussing it with me.
The first post that was guaranteed to a person in this government was one that I had asked for, that is the post of Managing Director at STO, the one in which that Shahid Ali is. That is something I did in my interest, and I swear, it is something I myself did. There is no one who hasn’t been coveting that post. I was offered five hundred thousand dollars to get Shahid Ali replaced by a person of Yameen’s choice. I said to him… what he said to me even at the beginning is that if you are uncomfortable by this, then we shall treat this as a conversation that never happened, and I replied saying this never happened.
I said this conversation never happened. Yameen said it never happened. And that was it, I got up and walked away. That (expletive) said to someone nearby that I am a very dangerous (expletive). Now I’ve told you of some of the problems in this government.
Now, I, and even the President, should know that even without any of these political parties, I can go out personally and show the numbers I speak of, that this is of value. Then I will not be hesitant regardless of how big a piece of the cake they cut. Why would I care (expletive)? Even if they ask to cut an electric cable, just cut it. Why would I care (expletive)? Who is going to come at me? I won’t hesitate at all. Now I have power.
Even if it is a coup government, they’ll just have to (expletive). I will activate whatever I want whenever I want. Even now, I can even activate the Police or MNDF or whatever. So what I am saying is there is nothing they can do against me even. So now I’ve given you complete power over everything, so go ahead with it…
Person 1: Yes
Faiz: …anything I cannot do. I am giving you my word, a person who shares a very close relationship like that which is amongst family.
(on phone) Hey you wait. I’m in a meeting with some people. I will call, will go, once this is done.
Unindentifed person 2: Who?
Faiz: These people are simply not worth marrying. It will be a lot more easier even if we just went ahead and became homosexuals.
Faiz: I will dish out more money than can be found in this country. That’s what you want, right? It’s what I want too. We share common terms among us all, right?
Person 1: Yes, so it’s okay with us. Shall we go?
Faiz: Okay, so here’s what should be done. When you’ve got those guys out, make sure that 30 to 40 of them are always on.
Person 1: On-call, right?
Faiz: On at coffees. Maybe at the cafe’ near the President’s Office. Spending time there, having coffees, doing other little things they need. Okay? That place should always be dominated by them. These cafe’s should be taken over.
Then there’s Al Fresco. These places should be taken over. Should you hear anything from any side, you should rush over. And then you will say things in support of the President, okay? Even in there, you should spend time on this. You should be in all the cafe’s these (expletive) go to.
Even that place near Moonimaage, go there too. So slowly take this work forward, and along with that… Even tonight, assuming Waheed would go to this meeting at Nasandhura, they went there.
But what was this really? It was a meeting held by the Japanese in remembrance of the tsunami victims. The Japanese had very bad things to say at the MDP people tonight. They are now ruining (expletives) themselves on their own, there are some people who have gone completely crazy in this. Lots of….
Faiz: I will cook this up very well, what I too want is money. I’m telling you the truth. I’m also in hardship now. My business is ruined, all due to being involved in this. My business started going down from the time I ran for a seat in the parliament. Things started going downhill then, and all this time I’ve been trying to recover from that. But in these past three years the government terminated all the projects I had taken. They’ve caused me huge loss. So when this loss was caused, I gave up all fear for my life or death and came out against them. And now I am the biggest key to having toppled that government.
Faiz: I’m the biggest key to this change in government. All that was done, all the deals that were made, all that was done, all the people that we met with, within Defense, even within Police; nothing would have taken place without my knowledge, without my participation.
If this is a coup government and there is a death sentence given out, I will be among the first to be sentenced to death. So what even I want is money, do you understand? I’m telling you the truth, it is to gain money that I have come into this.
I will only be able to acquire money when the conditions to getting more money is put in place. We’ll be able to get more money now than we have ever managed to get from this country all our lives. This is what I want. I want money too.