Ex-minister Azima charged with being an accomplice to money-laundering

Former Legal Affairs Minister of the President's Office, Aishath Azima Shakoor has been charged with being an accomplice to money laundering.

Prosecutor General's Office on Sunday said they are seeking to prosecute Azima on charges of giving false information to state authorities in addition to being an accomplice to money laundering.

The police believe Azima was an accessory in the money laundering case implicating former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. Azima previously represented the former president as his attorney.

The police informed that Azima is being charged with providing false information to state authorities as she had given a false account of an incident on behalf of President Yameen to the Anti Corruption Commission during their investigation.

While two charges have been raised against Azima, President Yameen was charged earlier this week with money laundering. The documents concerning the case were handed over on Sunday, and the Criminal Court is ready to begin trial.

The police previously revealed that a large amount of funds had been deposited to President Yameen's Maldives Islamic Bank account by MMPRC graft linked SOF Pvt Ltd, the company through which over USD 77 million of state funds is said to have been embezzled. The funds deposited into President Yameen's account were then laundered, the police suspect.

The police noted that President Yameen was notified that the funds were that of the State and asked him to return the funds to the State. However, President Yameen had not obliged with their request. They further noted that the deposited funds were utilized by President Yameen in such a way that it generated financial benefit.