Sheesha brothers file case to retrieve stolen funds from State Bank of India

The Sheesha brothers have have filed a case with the Civil Court to implement the court’s January 16 ruling which had ordered the State Bank of India (SBI) to pay them MVR13.5 million plus interest within one month.

During a press conference held yesterday the brothers and their lawyer Abdul Nasir Ibrahim revealed that SBI had not paid the money to the company according to a Civil Court ruling, and that the court had now accepted the case.

On January 16, the Civil Court had ruled that SBI had to pay the brothers’ motorcycle importing company MVR13.5 million outstanding from the total MVR18 million that had been discovered missing from its account in November 2011 after a series of unauthorised transfers.

Nasir said yesterday that he had met with SBI before filing the lawsuit and that the bank had told him that it would transfer the money only if the Civil Court deemed that the previous court ruling should be implemented.

Nasir told the press yesterday that, although SBI had the right to appeal the Civil Court ruling at the High Court, ruling was now in existence and had to be implemented unless the High Court rules otherwise.

Having met with the Maldives Monetary Authority governor – then Dr Fazeel Najeeb – regarding the issue, Sheesha’s lawyer had been told to find a solution through the courts. Nasir also called on the MMA to take action against SBI for not implementing the Civil Court’s ruling.

Following the discovery of the unauthorised removal of the funds, the company – owned by Ahmed Hassan Manik, Hussain Husham, and Ibrahim Husham – told local media that the money had been transferred to a Bank of Maldives account using a forged document faxed to SBI with Manik’s name and signature.

The brothers said they would sue SBI and requested that the bank take full responsibility for the theft – which had comprised of two transactions totalling MVR18 million.

The Prosecutor General’s Office pressed charges against seven people in connection with the case in May 2013, including a retired Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) colonel, and two staff members from SBI.

In November 2011, the Criminal Court issued an Interpol red notice to apprehend three persons suspected to be involved in the case.

Local newspapers at the time reported that Colonel Shaukath Ibrahim’s bank account was used to transfer the money and to withdraw it.

Yesterday, Sheesha’s lawyer told the press that the Civil Court had ruled SBI had neglected its responsibilities and that its negligence had caused the loss of the company’s MVR18million.

Of the total MVR18 million stolen, local media has reported that the company was able to recover MVR4.4 million from the Bank of Maldives account that the money had been transferred to.


Two suspects charged with defrauding MVR18 million from Sheesha Brothers’ account deny charges

Three of the seven suspects charged in a case involving the fraudulent transfer of MVR 18 million from a State Bank of India account owned by the owners of Sheesha Motor Company, have denied charges against them.

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Retired Colonel Shakath Ibrahim, Ali Ashraf of Rasmaadhoo in Raa Atoll and Mohamed Musthafa of Lhaimagu in Lhaviyani Atoll denied charges in court today, while the other hearings have yet to be held.

According to local media, the court was unable to hand over summons two persons charged with the case as they were not in the country.

On November 24, 2011, the Sheesha owners discovered that several unauthorised transfers had been made from their joint personal savings account to an unidentified recipient.

Following the Sheesha brothers’ – Ahmed Hassan Manik, Hussain Husham and Ibrahim Husham – discovery, they told local media the SBI transfer had been made to a Bank of Maldives account with a forged document faxed to SBI with Manik’s name and signature. The brothers said they would sue SBI and requested the bank take full responsibility for the theft.

In November 2011, Hussain Husham told local media that the total amount of MVR 18 million was taken in two transactions.

The first transaction was made on November 9, 2011, with the amount of MVR 8.5 million (US$551,000) withdrawn. On December 20, the culprits withdrew an additional MVR 9.5 million (US$616,000) from the Sheesha brothers’ account.


India extends financial support to the Maldives

India has provided a standby loan of US$20 million to the Maldives as the country descends into political turmoil, reports the Economic Times.

Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, D M Mulay, told the paper that the Indian government had expedited the delivery of the loan, which had been given to the Maldives government several days ago.

US$50 million in Maldives’ treasury bonds held by the State Bank of India “has also been rolled over for another year”, Mulay told reporters.

President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s Political Advisor, Dr Hassan Saeed, in a recent leaked audio clip, expressed concern about the involvement of “a lot of foreign partners” and “huge bilateral pressures”, in particular a US$50 million owed by the Maldives to an unspecified lender: “Fifty million dollars has to be raised before the end of this month or there will be a sovereign default,” he said, in the recording earlier this week.

The same paper recently reported that SBI had issued a moratorium on loans in the Maldives until June.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shri Ranjan Mathai visited the Maldives on Monday to push ahead peace talks between parties in the Maldives.

Mathai was a key proponent of  a ‘roadmap’ document proposing early presidential elections, with necessary amendments to the constitution and  laws to be completed within a month’s time.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has been pushing for an early election date, maintaining that Dr Waheed’s government is illegitimate, while the new government has insisted that “conditions have to be right”.


Criminal Court issues Interpol red notice to arrest three suspects in Rf18 million fraud

The Criminal Court has issued an Interpol red notice for the arrest of three suspects involved in a Rf18 million (US$1.1 million) fraud case.

The three men are accused of transferring money to the Bank of Maldives from the State Bank of India joint saving account of the three owners of the motorcycle business ‘Sheesha’.

In a statement, police identified the three suspects as Ibrahim Shahid of Thulhadhoo in Baa Atoll, Mohamed Mustafa of Lhaimagu in Shaviyani Atoll and Mohamed Muthausim of the same island.

Following the incident, the three owners of Sheesha: Ahmed Hassan Manik, Hussain Husham and Ibrahim Husham, met with the press and said that the State Bank of India should take full responsibility for the fraud.

Hussain Husham told the media that the total amount of Rf 18 million was taken in two transactions and that the first transaction was made on November 9 and with the withdrawal of Rf 8.5 Million.

Later on December 20, the culprits withdrew a further Rf 9.5 Million from their account.

Hussain told the press that SBI transferred the money to an account with Bank of Maldives, using a forged document faxed to SBI.

He said the document had the name and signature of Ahmed Hassan Manik, and that the money transferred to Bank of Maldives account had already been withdrawn when they came to know about it.

He also said police arrested one person in connection with the case, but that the court had released him after determining that he was arrested unlawfully.

Husaain said the company had decided to sue the State Bank of India and that they should take full responsibility.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said police arrested the head of the group with some documents.

‘’But the court released him and he immediately left the country,’’ Shiyam said. ‘’We have another person held in detention, and we are looking for other three suspects including the person we arrested before.’’

Shiyam said yesterday an Interpol red notice was issued and that police were trying to locate the individuals through Interpol system.