K. Male' | Humaam Ali | 14-January-2018 | Sunday 21:45 | HumaamAli | Report | 2,967
$66,385,921.34 was stolen from the state reserve between 17 July 2014 and 21 October 2015. This is the largest case of theft from the state. It was done through a state company. The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
It will be difficult to determine the total of the island, reefs and land sold by President Abdulla Yameen. This article aims to find out how millions were stolen from the state. Some people might remember film actor George Clooney’s heist series, Ocean’s. I saw them. The plots in those movies do not compare to the $66m stolen via MMPRC. None other than a top-class economist could have pulled off such a heist.
In order to facilitate the theft, monetary policies were amended, and many responsibilities of the tourism ministry were transferred to MMPRC. Numerous bids were opened to sell land and islands. 43 islands were sold via MMPRC up until 21 October 2015, the profit for the sales reached $66,385,921.34. The checks were written to MMPRC, but were not deposited to its account. They were deposited to a Bank of Maldives (BML) account of an unaffiliated company named Scores of Flair (SoF). The account being 7701701832002.
The over $66m deposited to SoF were laundered to various people, resulting in a total of 207 cash checks, 1592 cash transfers, 20 withdrawals, and 14 transfers overseas.
SoF had made a total of 1833 transfers between July 2014 and October 2015.
The $66,385,921.34 was stolen from the state through these 1833 transfers.
Al Jazeera’s documentary Stealing Paradise clearly shows that a large amount of the stolen money was taken to President Yameen’s home, but it is not clear how much.
The reason we know of SoF’s account is because of a whistleblower at BML. He saw that the company was using the bank for illicit purposes and publicized the account. It is now known who had made transactions with SoF’s account – who stole the money and who distributed it.
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