Charges have been raised against former Maldives Vice President Abdulla Jihad in relation to the corruption surrounding the development of Fushidhiggaru in Kaafu atoll as a special tourist zone.
The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) on Sunday revealed that the ex-VP was charged with the offense of actions which hinder benefits to the state, where they are clearly due.
The corruption claims against Jihad were investigated by the presidential inquiry commission on asset recovery and forwarded for prosecution.
Singapore’s International Arbitration Center had submitted the case accusing the government of going against the joint venture to develop the Fushidhiggaru lagoon, during Jihad’s term.
A statement issued by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) reads that the joint agreement signed by Prime Capital Maldives Private Limited and the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to lease Fushidhiggaru lagoon for development, which the government had violated. The company had filed the case for arbitration on December 18.
Jihad, who was serving as the Minister of Treasury back in 2013, had signed a joint venture agreement with the company which gave the state only 25 percent shares, on January 18 that year. This was in violation of the Cabinet of Ministers’ decision to enter a joint venture agreement which gives the state 50 percent shares, on November 29, 2011.
PGO revealed that Jihad’s actions had cost the government USD 604,713,750 which comprises more than USD 441,720,000 expected to have been generated as land rent revenue over 50 years as well as over USD 192,993,750 as prime location charges for over 50 years.
During August 2013, the issue was also filed at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) which concluded investigations during February 2016 in favor of Jihad.
PGO’s statement goes on to read that the inquiry commission has sought them to probe ACC’s conclusion, as a separate case.
In February this year, Jihad was also charged with illicit wealth, after failing to move out of the residence given to him during his Vice-Presidential term.