Customs ordered to pay MVR 22.7M to Mausoom's CGT

Justice Building, which houses Civil Court. (File Photo/Sun/Ihthisham Mohamed)

Maldives Customs Service has been ordered by the Civil Court to pay MVR 22.7 million to CGT Private Limited – a company which the Chairman of MWSC, Ahmed Mausoom owns along with three other shareholders.

Civil Court issued the ruling in favor of CGT – a tobacco importer and distributer – on March 6.

‘Sun’ has been informed the MVR 22.7 million is the amount of money paid by the company as import duty for a shipment of cigarettes in 2017.

The Maldivian government increased import duty on tobacco products in 2017.

CGT and Customs had been locked in a legal battle ever since over the question of whether its shipment in 2017 should have been imposed the new import duty or the previous duty.

‘Sun’ has been informed CGT submitted its bill of writing for the shipment before the shipment entered Maldivian territorial waters. Customs, at the time, determined that duty will be imposed once shipments enter Maldivian territory. This resulted in CGT having to pay more as import duty.

CGT filed its lawsuit against Customs in 2018. Representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, during previous hearings at the trial, maintained that the duty imposed by Customs was correct, and that Customs was therefore not required to return the money to CGT.

However, the Attorney General’s Office, switched tact with the change in administration, and conceded that Customs was wrongful in imposing the duty on CGT. And that CGT had the right to be returned the MVR 22.7 million imposed on it as duty for the shipment.

Ahmed Mausoom – who served as Chief of Staff at the President’s Office during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration – and currently as Chairman of State-owned Male’ Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) – is one of CGT’s main shareholders.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)’s investigative report on the MMPRC embezzlement scam, lists CGT as one of the recipients of deposits from SOF Private Limited – the company accused of laundering the embezzled funds.

SOF Private Limited deposited USD 5.7 million to CGT’s account.

Mausoom was placed on suspension pending the outcome of an inquiry into the case following the release of the report.

Shareholders of CGT:

  • Ahmed Mausoom
  • Abdulla Rifau, Ma. Shady Cabin
  • Umar Jamaal, Ma. Thinadhoo
  • Ahmed Zahir, Maahee, S. Hithadhoo