Two MNDF officers suspended over MMPRC graft

Two defense force officers who received funds from SOF Pvt Ltd have been asked to stay home until further instruction.

According to the report publicized by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), Maldives Media and PR Corporation (MMPRC) was supposed to receive USD 77.5 million as acquisition fees for 57 islands leased through the company. However, only USD 12.5 million were received by the state, while the remaining USD 64.8 million was deposited into the account of a company named SOF Private Limited.

The report revealed that 155 different individuals and companies had received funds embezzled from MMPRC through SOF Private Limited, including top government officials and parliamentarians. Major General of Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Abdulla Shamaal have previously stated that action will be take against MNDF officers whose names appeared on the list.

Information Officer at MNDF, Captain Ibrahim Azim revealed to AVAS that Major Ibrahim Naveen Zubair and Sergent Ismail Shakeeb have been asked to stay home until further instruction.

According to the ACC report, SOF Pvt Ltd had deposited USD 100,000 into Major Naveen's account. However, Sergent Shakeeb's name did not appear on the list although it was confirmed by the information officer that he too was suspended over investigations being conducted into the MMPRC scandal.

Other high level government officials implicated by the list include Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof and State Minister of Planning Ministry Akram Kamaaluddin. Both ministers have been asked by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to stay home until investigation into the case is concluded. A board member of Island Aviation and Chairman of utility service provider MWSC have also been suspended without pay over the case.

ACC has confirmed that they are not looking into any corruption cases linked to Youth Minister Mahloof. All findings by the commission on the implication of the government officials have now been shared with the president, ACC revealed.