Former DRP registrar and Customs head charged with corruption

Former Principle Collector of Customs Ibrahim Shafiu was produced before the Criminal Court today on charges of corruption.

Shafiu, who was also the ex-registrar of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP),  was accused of changing the details of two speedboats imported to the Maldives in 2007 by ‘Sultans of the Seas’, a company owned by DRP Leader and MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali’s family, and decreasing the customs duty payable for the two vessels.

According to a local newspaper present at the hearing, Shafiu’s lawyer denied the charges and requested the judge give him time to respond to the charges. The  judge adjourned the case for seven days.

Newspaper Haveeru reported that Shafiu had been living abroad after the fall of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s government in 2008, and arrested at the airport when he arrived back in the Maldives last month.

The Criminal Court’s media coordinator had not responded to Minivan News at time of press.

The Prosecutor General has also pressed further charges against Shaifu, alleging that he reduced the customs duty of a crane brought to the Maldives in 2008 by a company called Centre Enterprises.

The DRP was formed by Gayoom following the introduction of multi-party democracy, and was the largest opposition party until the ousting of the MDP government on February 7.  It is now the largest party affiliated with the new governing coalition.

Recently, Independent MP Abdul Hameed was sentenced to one year and six months banishment after the Criminal Court found him guilty of corruption, a sentence disqualifying him from parliament.

The court ruled that he had abused his authority as the former Director of Waste Management at the Male’ municipality to financially benefit a Singaporean company named Island Logistics, in a deal to purchase a barge.