Redwave Saleem: Focus on tracing money laundered by SOF, not on persecution of innocent business owners

Eydhafushi MP Ahmed Saleem (Redwave Saleem). (File Photo/People's Majlis)

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)’s investigative report on the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) embezzlement case is slanderous to local business owners who only engaged in foreign currency transactions with SOF Private Limited – the company charged with laundering the embezzled funds, says Eydhafushi MP Ahmed Saleem (Redwave Saleem).

Speaking during the debate on the Bill to add illicit enrichment as an offense to the Penal Code this Monday morning, one of the country’s leading businessmen, said that foreign currency transactions is not a crime.

He expressed concern over the inclusion of the names of companies to which SOF deposited money to in exchange for sale of USD in the report.

“The so called case of purchase of USD involves all of the country’s top companies. How were they to know the money with SOF were embezzled from the State? Where are the people who changed the money? Aren’t they the ones who should be pursued? The dollars were sold to convert it. You need to trace where the MVR from the sale of dollars went to. These are the people you need to find,” said Saleem.

Saleem said that determining illicit enrichment as a criminal offense was important. And that he approved of the Bill.

He said that his only concern was the misuse of the legislature from whatever government is in power after it is passed.

“The government persecutes whoever the government wants to persecute,” said Saleem, expressing lack of confidence over integrity of any government which comes to power.