'No reason to delay charging those involved in MMPRC graft'

Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has stated that he does not understand the delays in raising charges against those involved in the MMPRC graft while the identities of those involved in the corruption have been shared with the relevant authorities.

The official audit report into the biggest scandal in the country's history had revealed that over US$ 79 million had been embezzled through the state tourism promotion company. The funds received by MMPRC were distributed through a private company called SOF Private Limited.

In a press conference held in October jointly by Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), Maldives Police Service and Asset Recovery Commission, it was revealed 267 individuals received the embezzled fund. This includes seven government officials, and 8 judges, 44 members of the 18th Parliament and 16 members of the current parliament.

During Thursday's parliament sitting, Speaker Nasheed revealed said the parliament has requested the Asset Recovery Commission to share information on parliament members implicated in the graft.

Nasheed said as long as their identities remain unknown, the 'shadow' of the corruption is cast over all 87 members of the parliament.

Nasheed said a forensic investigation was done by main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) through a foreign forensic accountant on the mobile devices and laptops used by former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, who was heavily involved in the graft.

While the forensic report was shared with the Attorney General, the report was forwarded to the Asset Recovery Commission by the Attorney General's Office, said Nasheed.

"Over 73,000 texts were obtained in the investigation. The identities of those who texted Adeeb, the members who were in communication are clear," said Nasheed.

Nasheed said there is no reason to investigate the report further, and said the report lists details such as contact numbers, address and national identity card numbers.

"Therefore, I request the Maldives Police Service, Prosecutor General, and the Asset Recovery Commission to expedite charging those involved in the graft," said Nasheed.