President's Office refutes reports regarding purchase of luxury cars

The President's Office has refuted rumors that the office was seeking to purchase an expensive car for use by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed.

The President's Office said this in response to reports in some local newspapers that the Defense Ministry was working to bring two cars worth MVR 7 million for the use of President Solih and the First Lady. Some newspapers reported that the ministry sought to purchase the most expensive models of Mercedes-Benz cars. The reports said quotations were obtained from three businesses, and permission to purchase the vehicles had been sought from the Finance Ministry.

Among the companies that issued quotations for the car, a Sri Lankan company quoted MVR 5.7 million, while a UAE company MVR 6.2 million. A German company quoted the highest price for MVR 7.4 million, and it was reported that the cars would be purchased from the German company.

Replying to a question asked by AVAS, Presidential Spokesperson Miuwan Mohamed said the government was not making any efforts to buy cars for the First Couple.

"The news published in some newspapers is not based on the best information. I refute that," he said.

However, Miuwan said the government had checked the prices of a car and did so in response to a recommendation made to the government in the report prepared after the parliamentary inquiry into the May 6 assassination attempt on Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

"The report prepared by the 241 committee of the Parliament listed several recommendations, one of which was to take steps to strengthen the safety and security of the state's top officials. The price of the car was checked in this regard," he said.

Miuwan added that the government considered purchasing a car to be used by the Parliament Speaker to enhance his safety and security further and that the vehicle's price was checked accordingly.

"The government is not making any efforts to procure more cars at the moment," Miuwan said.