The Presidential Commission on Corruption and State Asset Recovery has discovered additional scams linked to the Ministry of Tourism, in its investigations into the largest case of graft involving the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC).
During a meeting of the parliamentary committee on independent institutions on Wednesday, the inquiry commission’s president, Ahmed Assad revealed reasons for delays in the commission’s investigative work.
As such, Assad revealed that the ministry had leased 12 lagoons and 37 islands in violation of the Tourism Act, which itself is a major legal issue.
Highlighting that two out of five cases probed by the commission were sent for duty prosecution, Assad revealed that they had assessed the tourism ministry’s mail server throughout the investigation of one of the cases.
The commission had found major issues that could hinder the purpose of the investigation and further investigations are currently underway, said Assad.
These are some of the reasons for delayed investigations, he added. Other reasons include a lack of national data-base system as well as an adequate registration for Malé City residences.
Due to these issues, the commission has filed for amendments including reforming issues in the banking system as well as holding state institutions more responsible. This is in light of difficulties facing the investigation in acquiring banking details of individuals linked to the embezzlement.
The commission has had difficulties in acquiring adequate information from the Bank of Maldives since August 7, last year and they were only able to acquire required details, through a court order.
These issues take up more time of the investigation process, stressed Assad.
Earlier, the commission revealed that investigations into the MMPRC graft case reveal attempts to cover up documents linked to transactions, stating that civil servants at the tourism ministry had played a part in destroying the documents.
The Presidential Commission on Corruption and State Asset Recovery was established on November 17, 2018 and is tasked with recuperating state assets lost from January 1, 2012 to November 17, 2018, and to ensure that all responsible authorities carry out their legal duties in investigating corruption and abuse of power within state and government institutions.