Six 'Not Negotiable' cheques endorsed and deposited by BML

Presidential Commission on State Assets Recovery has informed the parliament that Bank of Maldives deposited six 'Not Negotiable' cheques addressed to Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) received as lease acquisition cost for leasing islands and lagoons for tourism, to a private company named SOF Private Limited.

In the letter addressed to the Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Commission wrote that the commission's investigations found that BML endorsed six 'Not Negotiable' cheques made out to MMPRC and deposited it into SOF accounts. 'Not Negotiable' cheques cannot be deposited into the accounts of any person other than the 'Payee' listed on the cheque.

"They [Presidential Commission on State Assets Recovery] have informed me in a letter that the documents obtained by the commission in their investigation into the MMPRC graft show that six 'Not Negotiable' cheques addressed to MMPRC received as lease acquisition cost for leasing islands and lagoons for tourism was deposited into an account of SOF Private Limited opened at BML", informed the Speaker at Monday's parliament sitting.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is also investigating the matter.

Information officer of ACC, Hassan Manik earlier revealed that the commission is investigating the matter of BML as a separate case. Therefore, further information on the issue cannot be divulged until investigation is concluded, he said.

However, Deputy CEO of BML Mohamed Shareef told the Parliament's Public Finance Committee that there was no negligence on BML's part in depositing the cheques in question worth over MVR one billion. He assured that BML followed protocol and regulations in endorsing and depositing the cheques.

In a recent development, Shareef is now under scrutiny for 'providing false information to the parliament', with the parliament having reported him to the police for further investigation. The police have confirmed that investigation is underway.