Press has been barred from the meetings by the Public Finance Committee of the Parliament this Tuesday during which it will question the Governor of Maldives Monetary Authority and former Heads of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
The Public Finance Committee made the decision to close off press access to the meetings, scheduled to begin at 11:15 am, with the majority vote of the committee’s members.
Those summoned for questioning are:
One of the summons sent out by the committee, the summons sent to Athif, was shared by him through his Twitter account on February 20.
The summons read that the committee members wished to question Athif as he had been serving as Head of the FIU during the period when the MMPRC embezzlement and money laundering case took place.
Athif served as Head of FIU for seven months before resigning in June, 2015.
He previously testified to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)’s investigators that the FIU flagged the transactions from SOF Private Limited – the company charged with laundering money embezzled from MMPRC - to multiple bank accounts and prepared a Suspicious Financial Report on the transactions which the unit shared with the Governor of MMA at the time, Dr. Azeema Adam, along with its recommendation that the transactions required further investigation.
He said that Dr. Azeema refused to lodge the case with Maldives Police Service, and instead took the issue of understaffing at the unit.
FIU is an independent unit within the MMA which is charged with flagging suspicious transactions involving money laundering and terrorism funding, and bringing such cases to the attention of investigative authorities.
Meanwhile, Abdulla Ashraf, who was later appointed Head of FIU and worked under current Governor Naseer before his dismissal, has lodged a case against Naseer with the Maldives Police Service, Public Finance Committee and the Board of Directors of MMA.
‘Sun’ has received a copy of the letter sent by Ashraf to the Chair of Public Finance Committee.
Ashraf, in his letter, wrote that Governor Naseer, near Presidential Elections 2018, ordered him to discontinue reporting high-profile cases.
He said that the Governor also spoke in displeasure after the FIU forwarded two cases involving then-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to relevant State authorities.