ACC: 11 Health Ministry officials to be charged over ventilator scandal

(L-R) Combined photo shows Health Minister Abdulla Ameen, Health Ministry’s Finance Executive Ahmed Aslam, and Deputy Minister Nishaama Mohamed.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has said that it has requested to bring charges against 11 Health Ministry officials regarding the ventilator scandal.

Those to be charged include Health Minister Abdulla Ameen as well as the following bid committee members.

  • Deputy Minister and Chair of the Bid Committee Nishaama Mohamed
  • Director of the Health Ministry, Naushaadh Ali
  • Bid Committee Member, Aminath Shaufa
  • Assistant Director of the Health Ministry Fathimath Limya

Others to be charged include Health Ministry’s Finance Executive Ahmed Aslam, Deputy Director-General Abdulla Shareef, Legal Officer Ali Shiham, Assistant Director Abdulla Hafeez, and Assistant Administrative Officer Hussain Niyaz.

A statement by the ACC regarding the charges stated that Minister Ameen was to be charged for providing false information regarding the contract with Dubai based Executors General Trading. The Minister had said that the company was recommended to the Bid Committee by the World Health Organization, claims that are uncorroborated by the WHO and Audit Report findings into the scandal. 

The investigation also found that the Minister had encouraged the participation of two other officials who were not on the committee in the work of the committee. The Minister had also encouraged the 75 percent advanced payment to be paid to the company.  Charges against the Minister include misuse of official capacity and providing false information.

Deputy Minister Nishaama and four others on the committee are charged with awarding the contract without any due diligence and technical evaluations despite the lack of a quotation under the name of the company. They are also alleged to have changed a document submitted under the name of an individual to the name of the Dubai-based company. ACC alleges that this was done to award the contract to the individual and whitewash the whole procedure. They are to be charged with misconduct in an official capacity and misuse of official capacity.