Bank of Maldives (BML) has stated that it began making inquiries over large cash deposits after the anti-money-laundering laws were implemented.
In a press release on Sunday, BML noted that some have accused the bank of being involved in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) embezzlement scandal after the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) publicized its investigative report, since BML has a policy of making inquiries after large amounts of cash are deposited.
BML stated that people on social media have raised concern over why the bank ignored the large financial transactions between MMPRC and Scores of Flare (SoF), the company used to launder the embezzled money.
In the press release, BML highlighted that the policy was implemented in October 2014, in accordance with the anti-money-laundering laws, after the SoF transactions, and that BML began monitoring the company after noticing their activities and reported the transactions made between SoF and MMPRC since November 2014, to the state authorities.
BML stated that it sent weekly reports to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), adding that BML is required by law to send a Threshold Transaction Report whenever a transaction of over MVR 200,000 is made.
In the press release, BML stated that it has fulfilled all of its responsibilities, and that the FIU is tasked with compiling an analysis report of suspected transactions. According to the anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorism laws, the FIU is also responsible for analyzing the reports it receives over suspected transactions.
BML highlighted that an audit conducted of the bank for nine months starting from October 2017 showed that it had acted completely according to procedure.
BML stated that it continues to disclose all information regarding the MMPRC embezzlement to the investigative authorities and that the information regarding SoF was given to the auditor general’s office in 2015.
While the audit report of MMPRC was publicized on 4 February 2016, BML stated that Gasim Abdul Kareem, the manager of its F. Nilandhoo branch, had leaked the bank statements of SoF after the audit report was publicized. Gasim was dismissed from BML and arrested over the leak.
In the press release, BML assured that it will continue to fully cooperate in the MMPRC case.