Minivan50 corruption: I did no wrong - Ex home minister

Former Home Minister Umar Naseer has stated that no corruption was involved in any activities carried out by the Home Ministry to celebrate the 'Minivan50' program marking the 50th year of the country's independence.

Umar made the statement following the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)'s revelation that a lot of corruption had been involved in the Minivan50 celebrations. The commission said they had concluded investigating several cases in relation to Minivan50, and that the investigation of 39 cases are still ongoing.

A report previously issued by the Audit Office said over MVR 70 million was spent on Minivan50 celebrations against the Public Finance Act and in violation of the permit issued by the Finance Ministry.

Denying ACC's allegations, the former Home Minister said if any corruption had been involved in the dealings, it would have become evident over the past five years, and legal action would have been pursued.

Umar said even if both the previous administration of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, and current president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration digged deep to find faults that would implicate him, they will fail in their efforts.

Umar went on to say that even if the media that support the government brought up the allegations every month, he cannot be incriminated.

All dealings of Minivan50 were carried out after informing both ACC and Auditor General in writing, and with permission of Finance Ministry, added Umar.

"I did not handover any work to any companies in which my spouse, children, siblings have shares. We contracted the work to the most capable parties. We finished all work on time, and we made sure that the Minivan50 was a celebration that the whole country would take pride in," said Umar.

Umar went on to say that he would establish a trustworthy and well-administered government in the Maldives in 2023.