Maldives police look to quiz ex-pres over 'campaign cash'

Police have summoned former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom for questioning over the alleged hard cash he received ahead of the presidential elections in September which he lost to the opposition alliance.

Opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) secretary general Mohamed Hussain Shareef said the former president has been summoned to the police headquarters at 2pm on Saturday.

Police have yet to comment on the reason for summoning Yameen, but according to some local media reports, the police were looking to question him over the alleged USD1.5 million he received for the elections.

Al Jazeera cited a confidential letter sent the country's anti-money laundering body to the police saying the then president received the money in two installments to a private bank account at the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB).

The document from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an agency under the Maldives' central bank, was dated September 13 and was addressed to the then acting police commissioner Abdulla Nawaz.

In the letter, the FIU said a third party deposited USD648,508 in hard currency into the president's account on September 5. Another USD810,635 was deposited to the same account on September 10.

The whole amount was later withdrawn in hard currency, Al Jazeera said referring to the letter.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the main party in the ruling coalition has been pushing the authorities expedite the investigations into the numerous allegations against Yameen.

The party had also claimed to have filed several complaints filed several police complaints against Yameen over the corruption and embezzlement allegations.

Yameen lost the September 23 election by a margin of 16 percent to opposition alliance candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in an outcome hailed as a win for democracy in the crisis-hit archipelago.

Yameen has also been linked to the biggest corruption scandal in the country's history.

Yameen's former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor who had been jailed over the scandal has repeatedly accused the president of sanctioning the embezzlement of millions of dollars from the state coffers.