Deputy speaker calls for probe into old fraud case

Deputy parliament speaker Moosa Manik Wednesday called on the country's graft watchdog to launch a probe into the millions allegedly embezzled through the then state fisheries company during the regime of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

In response to a question by Avas over the reported opposition move to oust him, Manik said the country's political environment is manipulated for the personal gains of a few.

Moosa noted that though certain individuals might try to exert their power through the Parliament, the efforts would be fruitless as the Parliament would only function in accordance with the Maldivian constitution.

"Nothing can be gained by threatening us. Certain individuals not getting the votes they need is not a reason for us to be threatened. Even thinking of it is idiocy. We will not be deterred by threats," Manik stressed.

While noting that his former party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) was working with Gayoom to push a censure motion against him, Manik in turn stressed on the need for the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) to investigate the numerous human rights violations and the ACC to look into the Fisheries Projects Implementation Department (FPID) embezzlement.

"The FPID case is the largest case of corruption in those long 30 years. I call the ACC to investigate the matter forthwith and punish those responsible. The documents of the case had been in the Parliament, and many have insisted that the documents have gone missing during MDP's government. ACC must investigate this claim as well, and find answers," Manik added.

The FPID corruption case first emerged in 1990, with Gayoom's brother in law and trusted advisor Ilyas Ibrahim the then chief of FPID allegedly masterminding the embezzlement of MVR400 million.