3 July 2019
The Financial Intelligence Unit was created as a unit in the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) to prevent of money laundering and financing of terrorism.  The act under which it was created,  notes that it ‘shall have independent decision-making authority over matters within its responsibility and autonomy over the use of its budget’.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)’s investigative report noted that an analyst report compiled by FIU on 31st August 2014 highlighted various money laundering allegations. Yet the then head of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Athif Shakoor (in the picture), had decided against forwarding money laundering cases to the police. He had also confessed to this during ACC’s investigation.
An analyst report compiled by FIU at that time highlighted various money laundering allegations and urged to file the case at MMA’s Financial Sector Division to conduct a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) report. It is now for the authorities to find out whether Athif Shakoor was under pressure from those in power to suppress the investigation report or he did it on his own to gain favour from those in power. In the latter case, it is clear corruption on his part and he should be dealt with accordingly.
Although FIU’s report was completed in 2014, a money laundering case against then President Abdulla Yameen was first submitted to police only in September 2018.
FIU’s analyst report, pointed out that SOF- the private company implicated in the corruption scandal – had received a total of USD 22,100,000 through state owned Maldives and Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). Former President admitted that there was a $1 million deposit in his personal bank account from unknown source. Maldives Monetary Authority has not confirmed that he had returned the money to the government. It is widely believed that this money was part of the MMPRC loot.
Rajje.tv reported.