Twitter handle '@LeaksMV' has caught the country by the storm, revealing explicit audio clips of a person assumed to be Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.
The twitter account on Saturday threatened to expose a cabinet minister, and posted an audio clip titled 'Episode 1' later the same day. In the clip, a man alleged to be Minister Ali Waheed can be heard criticising Health Minister Abdulla Ameen. A second voice, assumed to be the voice of State Minister at Youth Ministry and close acquaintance of the tourism minister, footballer Ashad 'Adubarey' Ali, is also heard on the clip.
According to leaksMV, they obtained the audio clips recorded last Thursday at the Tourism Ministry from a 'whistleblower'. In the first audio clip titled "Episode 1", a man assumed to be the Tourism Minister heavily criticizes Health Minister Ameen and described him as 'incompetent'. He can be heard mocking the fact that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had praised the health minister over his efforts in dealing with the global coronavirus outbreak.
"I did all the work, I procured the masks, I handled the setup," he was heard saying, claiming credit for the Health Ministry's efforts to tackle the outbreak, his speech tainted by a string of profanities.
Following the first leak, Minister Waheed has claimed the clips were 'fake', and that it was an attempt to defame him. He did not provide any explanations to back his claim. However, a series of audio clips have since been released and neither the minister nor the government has commented on the matter since then.
In the second clip, the person assumed to be the tourism minister speaks in foul language in reference to Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali.
Criticizing the Education Ministry's policies, the voice assumed to be that of the tourism minister can be heard saying he would 'rile-up' the cabinet, similar to what 'Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail does'. He can be heard confidently saying that he would fail the minister's policies.
In the third clip, a voice assumed to be that of Transport Minister Aishath Nahula can also be heard. It is believed that the tourism minister called up the spouse of his party's leader MP Gasim Ibrahim, put the call on speakerphone, and spoke to her in a flirtatious manner.
"I just gave a call because I missed you," the male voice can be heard saying. He then proceeds to ask if the minister was at her office, and invited her to visit the Tourism Ministry. More 'flirtatious teasing' followed, and after the call ended, the male voice can be heard speaking about the transport minister in obscene language.
In the fourth clip, discussions on corruption and dishonest dealings involving both the tourism minister and state minister Ashad can be heard.
A discussion on procuring vehicles for the Supreme Court is discussed. One of the people assumed to be the minister states that he contemplates purchasing cheap, used vehicles and passing it off as brand-new vehicles. He went on to state that certain parties were working to 'foil' his plans.
When told that the issue may be filed with the police, the person thought to be the tourism minister uses a string of profanities in reference to both the police and the Secretary General of the Supreme Court.
The person assumed to be State Minister Ashad then speaks of obtaining MVR 800,000 through dishonest means from a project to 'pay off his debts'. However, this part of the conversation was not very clear.
State Minister Assad has commented on the leaks, stating that it was a 'provocation' ahead of the Football Association of Maldives (FAM)'s election. Assad too claimed that the audio clips were a 'hoax'.
Assad went on to claim that a person named 'Javaa' was orchestrating the leaks over fears that the Tourism Minister may field a candidate to contest against the current president of the association Bassam Adeel Jaleel in the upcoming FAM election. If the matter is properly investigated, the truth will prevail, said Assad.
The fifth leak is more explicit. Speaking in degrading terms in reference to women, the voices can be heard discussing immoral acts. The voice assumed to be that of the Tourism Minister spoke of unprincipled behaviour he allegedly engaged in with Transport Minister Nahula, and spoke of 'immoral requests' made by the transport minister. He can also be heard making plans to 'take a day off to visit a resort under the guise of attending an official event' in order to engage in other unprincipled acts that are unlawful.
While the ministers who were referred to in the audio clips are yet to comment, social media users have been calling on authorities to investigate the conversations as a 'serious issue'.