Police: No additional evidence being sought in Mahloof’s case

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Ahmed Mahloof. (File Photo/Sun)

Maldives Police Service has stated that they are not seeking additional evidence in the case against Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof regarding the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations (MMPRC) money laundering scandal.

Nevertheless, the Police had noted that the Prosecutor General’s Office has requested to clarify some matters pertaining to the existing evidence – for which the Police are presently working on.

“The Police is not seeking new evidence in the case against Minister Mahloof – but we are working on clarifying some matters pertaining to the existing evidence at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office,” a media official from the Police had stated.

The statement comes after Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has said that the delays in charging Minister Mahloof is attributed to the lack of sufficient evidence.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) requested the PGO for charges against Mahloof in connection to the MMPRC case on June 9.

ACC said their investigation found that in 2014, then-parliamentarian Mahloof received USD 33,000 in funds stolen from MMPRC as a bribe from then-Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor to remain a member of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and vote for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill.

ACC said Mahloof arrived at the Parliament on August 27, 2014, after traveling from Malaysia, for the sole purpose of voting for the SEZ Bill.

However, Mahloof rejected the allegation, stating that he voted in accordance with the three-line whip issued by PPM.

ACC found a USD 33,000 cheque was deposited to Mahloof’s bank account by SOF Private Limited – the company accused of laundering the stolen funds.

ACC said that though Mahloof submitted a ‘Payment Received’ slip in the name of SOF as evidence it had been a legitimate business transaction to procure US dollars, the commission had witnesses and other evidence as proof it had not been a legitimate business transaction.

However, Mahloof said the PGO does not have any evidence to make the charges stick in court.

Mahloof has also previously shared his concerns over the investigation to the public, alleging that PGO is handling his case differently than other MMPRC cases.