AG obtains evidence incriminating ex-pres and jailed VP of money-laundering

Attorney General's Office have revealed that they have obtained evidence that former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom and jailed former Vice President, Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor were involved in a money-laundering scheme.

In a statement released by the Attorney General's Office on Sunday, they said that main ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had submitted several documents that confirm suspicious transactions were carried out or planned to be carried out by Yameen, Adeeb several other senior government officials of the previous government.

The documents presented by MDP were compiled after analyzing data collected from mobile phones that belonged to Adeeb, with the assistance of an international fraud investigation firm. An investigative report by the firm along with supporting documents were also submitted to the AG office by MDP.

According to the report , forensic imaging was conducted on the obtained data by a data recovery and intelligence firm authorized by the Home Office of the United Kingdom, stated AG.

After reviewing the documents, it is probable that those involved in the scandal can also be charged with bribery and corruption in addition to money laundering, said the AG Office.

The documents have now been shared with the presidential commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery by the Attorney General's Office.

The Office noted that the documents have also been shared with Maldives Police Service so that a criminal investigation may be launched into the suspects involved in the case, and for the protection of evidence in order to prepare for trial.

The AG Office is currently conducting discussions with foreign experts in order to strategize the recovery of the assets lost from the state.

Former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom was recently questioned several times by the police for the investigation of the largest corruption scandal in the country's history.

The official audit report into the Maldives Media and PR Corporation (MMPRC) scandal, had revealed that over USD79 million had been embezzled through the state tourism promotion company.

The funds received by MMPRC were distributed through a private company called SOF Private Limited with strong links to the now jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor.

Shortly after the scandal was uncovered, USD1 million was deposited by SOF to Yameen's personal account at the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB).

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.

The former president has continued to deny the allegations insisting that he had done nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, the former VP was arrested in October 2015 on charges of terrorism for his involvement in the explosion aboard the Presidential speedboat “Finifenmaa”. He is currently serving a 33-year jail sentence for multiple convictions of corruption and terrorism for his involvement in the MMPRC corruption scandal as well as the attempted assassination of former President Yameen.