17 December 2018

A Maldivian court ordered accounts belonging to former president Abdulla Yameen holding $6.5 million to be frozen. Police on Sunday said that he was under investigation for corruption. The accounts are held in Maldives Islamic Bank and the Bank of Maldives.

Monetary authority of Maldives has lodged a police complaint about the alleged donations of $1.5 million made into a private account held by Yameen in two suspicious tranches, local media reported.

Yameen’s five-year term was marked by the jailing or exiling of all his key rivals most of whom have returned to the country or have been released from jail, after his fall from power. New Straits Times reported.

The investigations are due to a complaint filed by Financial Intelligence Unit, an anti-money laundering body, in September this year alleging that Yameen had violated the country’s election laws due to the transactions made from his Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) bank account during the time of the elections.

President Solih had set up two commissions to investigate allegations against the former President after coming to power in the Maldives. During his campaigns he had vowed to clamp down on corruption. Sify News reported.

Yameen told Al Jazeera that these were ordinary transactions and the freezing of the accounts was politically motivated. He said that he was not involved in trafficking in drugs or laundering money.

During Yameen’s tenure, in the country’s biggest-ever corruption scandal, at least $79m from tourism revenues was diverted to private accounts and cashed out. The scheme involved the state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). Yameen blamed the central bank and commercial banks for the MMPRC scandal, saying the staff there did not raise red flags when tens of millions of dollars in public money was diverted to private accounts.

Maldives’ new President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih arrived in Delhi yesterday on a three-day state visit during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed at strengthening bilateral ties which were soured during the previous government.