Maldives suspends ministers over alleged corruption

18 Feb 19

The president of the Maldives has suspended two government ministers over financial transactions with a company linked to a $90m corruption scandal.

The move relates to a deal to lease land for hotel development, which has already implicated a former president and a number of other leading politicians and businessmen.

According to Channel News Asia, youth minister Ahmed Mahloof and state minister for infrastructure Akram Kamaludeen are alleged to have accepted money from SOF Private Limited, a company allegedly used to extort cash from the islands’ tourism board.

The case was revealed in an 800-page report released by the Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday.

In statements, Mahloof denied any wrongdoing, while Kamaludeen said he respected president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s decision.

Launching the ruling party’s election campaign last week, Solih said he would “do everything” he could to fight corruption. His Democratic Party currently lacks a parliamentary majority, although the parliamentary election in the Maldives is due to take place on 6 April.

The anti-corruption agency has previously accused former president Abdulla Yameen of accepting an $11m payment from government funds. He denies wrongdoing but faces a preliminary court hearing on Sunday.

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