National carrier, Maldivian, has revealed that Rahaa Resort has to pay over US$ 500,000 to the airline.
The resort is owned by former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Moosa Manik. Manik is also a close associate of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
The unpaid amount is from when the resort purchased airline tickets on credit. The information was provided to Dhiyares, TMJ’s parent company, by an official from Maldivian.
The official reveals that they had made several attempts to recover the amount. Even as late as last week, the company had requested the resort to provide a payment schedule – a request that was ignored.
In addition to Rahaa resort, Brennia Kottefaru and Kihaa Resorts also have unpaid bills.
Manik had contacted Dhiyares, following their attempts to secure a comment from Maldivian on the issue. He had warned of consequences, citing the consequences faced by former Presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed.
He added that Dhiyares was more than welcome to publish about unpaid bills but have to be prepared to face consequences.
Manik, a former local movie star, had risen to political fame as a spitfire and a sharp orator. He was a member of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), serving as the Party's Chairperson and having taken an active role in the protests MDP held after President Nasheed had resigned office on February 7, 2012.
He had contested for and won the Parliament seat for Hulhuhenveyru Constituency in 2014. Manik served as Deputy Speaker. He had fallen out with MDP and was subsequently dismissed from the party for breaking a party whip line during a parliamentary vote.
Manik then shifted allegiances, signing up for President Yameen's Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and pledged his support for President Yameen's re-election bid.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office in November 2018. Manik in February 2019 announced that he would not seek another term in Parliament.
While it looked that he was taking a more private role and focusing on business, Manik was one of the first people to visit President Solih after he underwent thyroid surgery in March this year. Manik had posted a picture of the two on his twitter account - President Solih’s surgical bandage was visible.
Since then, Manik had taken a strong stance with the administration, actively defending President Solih and his allies, including Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail.