ACC investigates corruption allegations against Ali Waheed

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed. (File Photo/Sun/Ahmed Saeed)

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) confirmed on Thursday it is investigating corruption allegations against former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.

A compliance audit report on COVID-19 related spending by the Tourism Ministry, released by the Auditor General's Office in August, uncovered multiple irregularities, prompting the ACC to launch an investigation.

An official from ACC told Sun on Thursday that the commission is investigating eight cases in connection to the audit report, along with several more allegations which were lodged by a private party after ACC launched its initial investigation.

“We initiated an investigation into the audit findings on Tourism [Ministry]. We are investigating eight cases in connection to that. And as we were investigating, a private party lodged additional allegations linked with that on September 7,” said the official.

The official said the later allegations were against both Ali Waheed and several other Tourism Ministry employees.

The official declined to disclose details regarding the allegations as it is an ongoing investigation.

The audit report states that 99 percent of the MVR 26 million spent by Tourism Ministry on COVID-19 was on areas outside of its mandate, and highlights several other irregularities.

Ali Waheed was dismissed as Tourism Minister in July following complaints that he sexually harassed and assaulted multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry. The allegations – which Ali Waheed denies - are under investigation by the police.