Ex-pres summoned and quizzed over MMPRC graft

Police on Monday summoned and questioned former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom over the largest tourism scandal in the archipelago's history.

President Yameen presented himself to the police headquarters at 2:00 pm.

Yameen was summoned for questioning while the Criminal Court prepares to deliver a verdict on his money laundering trial on Tuesday. President Yameen is accused of depositing funds received as acquisition costs for leasing tourism islands through the state tourism company, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) via a private company, and generating profit from the funds.

The official audit report into the MMPRC scandal revealed that over US$ 79 million was embezzled through MMPRC.

While the investigation into the corruption is still ongoing, former vice president Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, who is implicated in the corruption, has aided the investigation by disclosing information on the case.

A list of beneficiaries who received the embezzled funds was compiled by the police based on the data provided by Adeeb. The extensive list includes several parliamentarians, judges, cabinet minister and journalists.

While 16 members the current parliament were named in the list, three cabinet ministers were also mentioned, including Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed, Communications Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal and Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof. Minister Zaha was recently summoned by the police and quizzed over the scandal.