Twelve companies that were previously accused of having been involved in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) embezzlement scandal have been cleared after proving that the USD transactions carried out by the companies were legit.
This was revealed by the President of the Asset Recovery Commission convened by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Ahmed As’adh, who disclosed to local news outlet “Adhadhu” that the Commission has concluded investigations into some companies implicated in the MMPRC graft.
According to As’adh, investigations have proven conclusively that some of these companies were not involved in the corruption and had only carried out legal dollar transactions with the SOF Pvt Ltd, the company used to distribute the funds embezzled from MMPRC. Thus far, 12 companies have been cleared, he said.
As’adh also revealed that investigations into dollar transactions between certain individuals and SOF Pvt Ltd are ongoing, and that the findings of these investigations will be shared as they are concluded.
Anti-Corruption Commission had previously released a list of beneficiaries of the misappropriated funds. At the time, the investigation was being carried out jointly by the ACC and Maldives Police Service. However, dissatisfied with the speed at which the investigation was processing, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih convened a special presidential commission to lead the probe.
The Asset Recovery Commission, ACC and the Police revealed after their joint investigation that the total amount embezzled from MMPRC was USD 76 million. The Commission also forwarded a list of beneficiaries to the People’s Majlis after investigation.
The Joint Committee of Parliament overseeing the investigation then proceeded to make public this list of beneficiaries which included 281 names of individuals and companies. However, many individuals implicated in the list have come forward and stated that they were not interrogated by the Commission before their names were included in the list.