MALÉ, Maldives, 19 September 2018 – Yesterday, the MDP received a report from KRyS Global, a forensic accounting firm with global offices and experience in fraud investigation, validating previous media reports regarding corruption within President Yameen’s government.
The report is based on the forensic review and analysis of 80,890 messages (phone and encrypted messages) taken from the phone of Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor and has found overwhelming evidence that the individuals listed below were responsible for an illegal scheme to use the Maldives to launder USD 1.5 billion from Indonesia and Singapore. The scheme was planned and coordinated at the most senior levels of President Yameen’s government including, but not limited to:
Abdulla Yameen – President of the Maldives since November 2013;
Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor (“Adeeb”) – Former Vice President of the Government of Maldives between July 2015 to November 2015 and former Minister of Tourism between November 2013 to July 2015;
Colonel Ahmed Fayaz (“Fayaz” or “Papa”) – Former colonel of Maldives National Defence Force (MDNF);
Mohamed Hussain Shareef – President´s Office Minister until October 2015 and current Ambassador to Sri Lanka; and
Azeema Adam – Governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) of the Maldives from April 2014 to August 2017
“Others are almost certainly involved as well,” the report states. And “…[I]t is not possible for such a large number of persons to be involved or show a blind eye without some financial or other benefit.”
The plan included flying planes full of cash in USD 60 million tranches to be deposited in accounts at Bank of Maldives under an admitted “cover story”—namely, to invest in the Maldives. As the report states, “The term of ‘cover story’ indicates a clear intention to conceal the true purpose of the funds. There is no other realistic interpretation of the phrase…”
The referenced “cover story” was for Tan Kuan Yew, a Singapore-based businessman, to create a Maldivian company in order to lease a lagoon and provide “investment in the Maldives.” However, the “investment prices” are “a significant uplift far in excess of normal costs of leasing.” The difference is “in the millions or potentially ten millions USD” suggesting that the actual purpose of the transferred money was more sinister in nature.
Furthermore, the evidence points towards a meeting between Tan Kuan Yew and President Yameen. The Data shows that President Yameen was in Singapore on 31 July 2014 along with Tan Kuan Yew. Tan Kuan Yew texted Adeeb, “I think no need a meeting with president until after transaction.” Followed by, “I happy to meet the president of u think is appropriate. Ok, I will come by regent 11pm.”
The report’s “preliminary findings have all the earmarks of the primary objectives of criminals who launder money by physically transporting cash across borders…” Historically speaking, “Large or frequent cash transactions, either deposits or withdrawals and accounts used as a temporary repository for funds are considered suspicious activity indicators most commonly associated with money laundering.” And the data “indicates that certain high ranking and senior people/PEP’s were aware, had knowledge, or unwillingly participated” in this crime.
This press release includes information from a preliminary report on findings derived from review of mobile phone data that had been prepared at the direction of MDP, but has not been made public.