Maldives bribery scandal; sports minister charged

Ahmed Mahloof, the Maldives’ sports minister, has been charged for accepting bribes in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation scandal, also known as the MMPRC scandal, that had rocked the previous government led by former president Abdullah Yamen

Nov 25, 2021
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Ahmed Mahloof, the Maldives’ sports minister

Ahmed Mahloof, the Maldives’ sports minister, has been charged for accepting bribes in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation scandal, also known as the MMPRC scandal, that had rocked the previous government led by former president Abdullah Yamen. 

The MMPRC scandal, where high-ranking officials have been accused of siphoning the government’s fund into their private accounts, has seen several convictions, including of former vice-president Ahmed Adeeb, who received a 20-year sentence. Adeeb’s boss, former president Yameen, is also facing trial in the same case.  

Public Prosecutor Ahmed Shafeeu Thursday said that Mahloof had been charged with accepting a bribe under Article 3 (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act, with reference to Article 3 (a), reported Sun news.  

The charges have been pressed after the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had confirmed his role and participation in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) graft scandal. 

Current the government led by President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih and former president Mohemmed Nasheed, currently the speaker of the parliament, has long been vocal about undertaking an impartial investigation into the case, without any political interference. 

ACC findings confirmed that in 2014, Mahloof, then an MP, received $33,000 in funds stolen from MMPRC as a bribe from then-Vice President Ahmed Adeeb to remain a member of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and vote for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill on August 27, 2014. The fund, ACC, said was later deposited to a firm owned by him.

The minister, however, called the case a “political conspiracy” and hoped to defend his innocence in court. 

(SAM)