Charges have been raised against the former head of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Athif Shukoor, under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act.
According to the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) investigative report into the MMPRC graft, Shakoor had decided against forwarding a Suspicious Transaction Report received by the FIU to the police and had allowed MMPRC's funds to be deposited into the account for a private company known as SoF.
The report also says its investigation “clearly” shows that Shakoor had made the decision to not forward the case on 6th April 2015. He had also confessed to this during ACC's investigation.
Further, ACC noted that FIU had failed to take any action despite huge sums of state funds being laundered into a private account, giving it undue benefits.
As such, the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) revealed that charges levied against Athif have been forwarded to the criminal court on Thursday under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act.
The ACC forwarded charges raised against Athif to the PGO on February 18th 2019 for providing an undue advantage for a third party. However, the PGO returned the case to ACC and recommended the commission to send the case to Maldives Police Service (MPS) for further investigation. Upon the PGO's recommendation, the corruption watchdog forwarded the case against Athif to the police on February 21st 2019 but raised charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act instead.
While the Financial Intelligence Unit was created under article 27 of the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism act in 2014, article 30 notes that it ‘shall have independent decision-making authority over matters within its responsibility and autonomy over the use of its budget’.