Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, former Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer and former MD of MMPRC Abdulla Ziyath have been named in the sizable list of witnesses against former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in the money laundering case against him.
Other high profile figures named as State witnesses against Yameen includes President of Anti-Corruption Commission, Hassan Luthufy and Vice President of Anti-Corruption Commission, Muaviz Rasheed.
The first preliminary hearing in the money laundering case against Yameen was held at the Criminal Court at 1 pm this Thursday.
At the hearing, State prosecutor Mohamed Aleem read the charge against Yameen, announcing that he was being charged under Article 53 (b) of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act in reference to Article 53 (a) of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act.
Prosecutor Aleem said that Yameen that SOF Private Limited – the company into which funds embezzled from MMPRC went – deposited two cheques of USD 500,000 each to Yameen’s USD bank account, which he transferred to his savings account, and later to a general investment account for financial gain.
The charge sheet further reads that Yameen had transferred an unrelated USD 1 million to an escrow account opened at Bank of Maldives under an agreement he signed with ACC under the false pretense that it was the same USD 1 million which was transferred to his USD account by SOF Private Limited.
The prosecution is arguing that the USD 1 million was deposited to the escrow account by then-Minister of Tourism, Moosa Zameer.
YAMEEN’S CLOSE ALLIES NAMED AS STATE WITNESSES AGAINST HIM
The State has named eight witnesses him. They are:
Yameen had previously reported to the press that the USD 1 million deposited to his USD account had been a campaign donation made to Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
PPM’s campaign contributions and donations were managed during that period of time by Adeeb. Adeeb has been named as a witness to prove the State’s argument that such a large amount of money had not gone into PPM as a donation during that period of time, and that the maximum limit of a single donation had been MVR 100,000, and that donations had always been made in MVR and never USD.
Ziyath has been named as a witness to prove the State’s argument that he had consulted with Yameen regarding leasing the islands, the acquisition price of the islands and other details when the MMPRC embezzlement scam took place.
Ziyath will also be testifying that the USD 1 million deposited to Yameen’s account had been the acquisition fee for the lease of an uninhabited island called G. A. Vodamulaa.
Luthufy and Muaviz have been named as witnesses to disclose the details of the agreement made between ACC and Yameen for the creation of the escrow account.
Moosa Zameer has been named as a witness to prove the State’s argument that it had been he who made the USD 1 million deposit to the escrow account and not Yameen.
The State will also argue that Moosa Zameer generated the USD 1 million by selling a plot of land he owns in Hulhumale’ to another State witness – Mohamed Waseem Ismail – for USD 2 million.
The two directors of BML – Luwaiz and Shareef – have been named as witnesses to testify to conversations between the BOD of BML and a person close to Yameen regarding opening the escrow account.
To be updated...