ACC probes alleged misuse of state resources by pres, defence minister

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating trips taken by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi.

ACC on Sunday said the commission is investigating two complaints filed at the commission alleging that the president and the defense minister had misused state resources during some trips.

An official from ACC said one of the accuses was the president of utilizing the presidential speedboat to travel to some islands to campaign for his party during the parliamentary election campaign. The commission is probing the allegations, the official confirmed.

Heavy criticism was directed at the president for making use of the presidential speedboat to travel to some islands during the parliamentary campaign. At the time, the President's Office had stated that the presidential speedboat was used to ensure the president's safety on the request of Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF). The trips were sponsored by the president's party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the President's Office had revealed.

The ACC is also looking into Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi's visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). accompanying her son with with her while she was in attendance at the minister's meeting with the Interior Minister of UAE.

The minister has stated that the trip was arranged at an unofficial capacity, not on expenses were covered by the state, and she met with the interior minister on an unofficial capacity as well, the minister has claimed.

Both complaints were filed at the ACC last month by the legal team of opposing PPM-PNC coalition. While the commission has confirmed that the complaints are being investigated, no further details were disclosed.

ACC is also investigating a claim that the Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed misused state resources in traveling to four southern atolls earlier this year.

An official had earlier stated that the commission is investigating a complaint that alleges the speaker utilized parliament funds to purchase air tickets to Gaaf Alif atoll to attend a symposium held by the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in Ga. Villingili during August this year. No further details were disclosed.

The parliament had earlier stated that President Nasheed's visit to Ga. Villingili was an official visit. Following his official visit to Villingili, Nasheed then traveled to other islands of the atoll and to Gn. Fuvahmulah and Addu City on an unofficial visit.