Ahmed Moosa Mohamed, the Managing Director of Sealife Global has been arrested.
Interpol has confirmed the arrest to the Maldives Police Service (MPS).
In a message to local media, police revealed that they have received reports of Mohamed’s arrest, from Interpol in connection to a scam under investigation.
It has also been revealed that the police are cooperating with Interpol to complete the required formalities and some media outlets have reported that Mohamed was arrested from neighboring Sri Lanka.
Maldivian police pursued an Interpol red notice to locate Mohamed during April 2019. The accused is a close associate of now incarcerated former President Abdulla Yameen and was believed to be living in Sri Lanka when the red notice accusing him of defraud and forgery, was out in late April 2019.
The five-year project between the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and Sealife Global was announced back in 2014 and is a joint venture between the company and two Dubai firms. Under the agreement, Sealife was tasked with developing 3,000 housing units in Hulhumalé, they had earlier announced several dates on when the flats would be completed, however, they failed to start any work on the construction of these flats.
The company faces allegations of defrauding nearly 300 people, after collecting payments from them for apartments allocated within the first phase.
Cases were filed by prominent lawyer Mariyam Shunana, at Maldives Police Service and the Anti-Corruption Commission as early as October 2018. It was also lodged with the Civil Court and the presidential inquiry commission on corruption and asset recovery which launched probes into the allegations, during March 2019.
Mohamed fled the country after issues in launching the project, without reimbursing the tenants, in turn violating agreements made with locals to sell properties being constructed.
The initial agreement between the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the government was to reimburse the nearly 300 tenants who had paid for apartments in 3,000 housing units. Most of the tenants had given both the booking fee as well as the down payment.
There have been reports of the jailed ex-president and associate of Sealife’s MD having received funds from the company, with which ACC launched investigations during October 2019. USD 15,000 was deposited to Yameen’s account through Sealife in March 2014.