Ex-pres Yameen to sue for $1 mln in escrow account

Former President Abdulla Yameen has decided to sue to access $1 million related to the MMPRC scandal.

The $1 million President Yameen is trying to recover is in an escrow account opened with the Bank of Maldives (BML) between him and the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). In 2018, $1 million was deposited in the escrow account after talks between the ACC and Yameen when the MMPRC graft came to light. Even then, President Yameen repeatedly said that the money was donated by various parties for his political activities.

In an interview with Sangu TV on Friday night, Yameen reiterated that the funds in question were political donations. He said the funds were not obtained through illegal means and that he, therefore, believed he should receive the funds. However, he declined to disclose the names of those who donated for his political activities.

The escrow account was set up, and $1 million was deposited on the condition that ACC had up to one-year period to verify that the money was state funds. It was agreed that if ACC failed to prove the money was state funds within the period, the money would be returned, said Yameen. However, the Bank of Maldives refuses to release the funds, he said.

"Therefore, we intend to take the Bank of Maldives to court and are working on it," he said.

The State initially charged President Yameen with money laundering, alleging that he laundered $1 million in state funds obtained through leasing Ga. Vodamula island. The charges were raised on November 28, 2019. Although he was found guilty of the charges by both the Criminal Court and the High Court, the Supreme Court acquitted President Yameen of the charges against him on November 30, 2021.