'Parliament aims to restore trust in BML' - Speaker Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed stated Wednesday that the parliament aims to ensure that Bank of Maldives (BML) is a trustworthy financial institution for citizens and businesses.

Congratulating the new board members of BML during Wednesday's parliament sitting, Nasheed said that the parliament has received multiple complaints regarding the bank from BML's correspondent banks and other financial institutions that the bank is acquainted with. The parliament is looking into the matter, revealed Nasheed.

Throwing light on the recent allegations against BML regarding the embezzlement of state funds, Nasheed said the parliament's aim is to restore the trust of international financial institutions and Maldivian citizens and businesses in the bank.

While Nasheed has stated that BML needs to be a trustworthy institution, senior officials of the bank were recently summoned to the parliament's public finance committee for questioning. The Parliament has proclaimed that the bank's Deputy CEO Mohamed Shareef gave false information to the committee, and has reported Shareef to the police. The police are currently investigating the complaint.

Deputy CEO of BML Mohamed Shareef told the Parliament's Public Finance Committee that there was no negligence on BML's part in depositing cheques worth MVR one billion that were made out to Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) into the account of a private company. He assured that BML followed protocol and regulations in endorsing and depositing the cheques.

BML has also been accused of depositing 'Not Negotiable' cheques addressed to MMPRC that were issued as lease acquisition cost for leasing islands and lagoons for tourism purposes. Cheques marked 'Not Negotiable' can only be deposited into the account of the Payee listed on the cheque.

The issue is being investigated by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Presidential Commission on State Assets Recovery. The State Recovery Commission has informed the parliament that Bank of Maldives deposited six 'Not Negotiable' cheques addressed to MMPRC to a private company named SOF Private Limited.