Former President Abdullah Yameen has been ordered by the Criminal Court to pay the state the USD one million he laundered and the USD two million raised over the leasing of Aarah island in Vaavu atoll to a foreign party for resort development.
The order was issued by the Criminal Court on Sunday.
The Criminal Court has sentenced former President Abdulla Yameen to 11 years in prison and fined him USD five million after finding him guilty of corruption and money laundering charges over the leasing of Aarah island in Vaavu Atoll. Hence, the prosecution requested that the court order him to repay the money he gained through money laundering.
The prosecution made the motion as the former President deposited the USD one million cheque accepted as a bribe into his HSBC account and subsequently deposited USD 1,001,409 into his BML account with the additional money in the account.
Afterward, a total of USD 1,295,000 was deposited to his Islamic Bank account with the additional funds in the account.
Later on, USD 3,413,230 was deposited to another account opened in the former President’s name at Islamic Bank. He profited from this money for 36 months.
The money was ordered to be recovered for the state as the Criminal Court has ruled that Yameen was guilty of laundering USD one million, adding USD 2,413,230 to the sum, and investing the money to profit.
Chief Justice Ahmed Shakeel issued the order. As such, he ordered that the funds be paid to the state within six months.
During the verdict hearing, presiding Judge, Ahmed Shakeel noted that no justification was given on why, such a huge sum of money was deposited to the private account of Yameen, while he was in such a position of power. He stated that evidence shows that the money deposited to Yameen's private bank account is money laundered during the leasing of Aarah Island.
Hence Criminal Court sentenced Yameen to seven years in prison and fined him USD five million, for finding him guilty of money laundering. Yameen was sentenced to four years in prison for finding him guilty of receiving bribe, and for acts of corruption.
Abdulla Yameen lost power in 2018 but has been declared presidential candidate for the Progressive Party of the Maldives for an election due in 2023.
Earlier in 2019, he was sentenced to five years in jail and fined USD five million for embezzling USD one million in state funds, which the prosecution said was acquired through the lease of resort development rights.
After his sentencing, Yameen was shifted to house arrest in 2020 and was freed months later, citing a fault in an evidence document. After his release, Yameen returned to active politics once again.
With the Criminal Court sentencing Yameen to 11 years in prison, he is now completing his new sentence in Maafushi Prison.