MDP Concerned Over Reports President Yameen Laundered US$ 1.5 billion Through Maldives’ Central Bank

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is deeply concerned over allegations of President Abdulla Yameen’s involvement in laundering US$ 1.5 billion through the Maldives’ central bank. The MDP is also concerned over reports that Yameen’s regime has embezzled US$ 79 million via the government’s tourism promotion company, Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation.

According to media reports, which are corroborated with information received by the MDP, government officials with close links to President Yameen, Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad and the central bank have been involved in laundering of $ 1.5 billion. The MDP notes that the Minister of Finance has confirmed as genuine documents that show $1.5 billion in cash was flown into the Maldives last year. The cash was ostensibly for the purchase of a lagoon (with a retail value of $300,000) but reports suggest the cash was instead laundered through the Maldives Monetary Authority, the country’s central bank.

Furthermore, an audit of the country’s tourism promotion board, MMPRC, has exposed that at least $79 million of public funds were embezzled. These embezzled funds include revenue accrued to the Government from the lease of islands for resort development.

The MMPRC shifted large quantities of cash to a private Maldivian company, SOF. According to a statement released by SOF, this money was then directly deposited into the private accounts of senior government officials, members of the ruling party, and the President and the First Lady.

During the past few weeks the MDP has received a report of a covert intelligence operation carried out within the Maldives and at various locations overseas. The information received makes credible allegations concerning the expropriation of public funds by or on behalf of regime officials; the siphoning of public funds for unlawful surveillance of political opponents and other unlawful political purposes; the making of corrupt payments to members of the judiciary; and the making of corrupt payments to politicians, police officers, businessmen and those involved in organized crime.