High Court orders the rearrest of Sealife MD Ammaty

Ahmed Moosa Mohamed, Managing Director of SeaLife Global. (Photo/Interpol)

High Court has ordered the rearrest of SeaLife Global’s managing director Ahmed Moosa Mohamed (Ammaty) – pressed with multiple charges for defrauding over 200 tenants out of millions in booking fees for a proposed apartment complex in suburban Hulhumale’.

Ammaty was released on bail by the Criminal Court on October 20 – after the court accepted his sisters as surety. However, he was released under the condition that he cannot leave Male’ City unless with express permission from the court, and that he must cooperate with the court and attend all his hearings. 

Subsequently, the Prosecutor General’s Office appealed Criminal Court’s decision to the High Court.

After their review of the case, the High Court made a decision today – which read that due to the nature of the case, Ammaty cannot be kept released. It was also noted that there is a high chance of him fleeing should he remain free. It was also stressed that Ammaty had only returned to Maldives a magnitude of days after Interpol red notice was issued against him.

After being awarded land in Hulhumale’ to build an apartment complex under an agreement made with the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) – SeaLife announced its 3,000-apartment housing project, the SeaLife Complex in Hulhumale’, back in 2015.

280 tenants paid a booking fee of MVR 50,000 (some more than MVR 50,000). But the SeaLife Complex was never built and the tenants were never reimbursed for their down payments.

The cumulative total of the booking fees collected by SeaLife is estimated to be upwards of MVR 14 million.

Ammaty, who had an Interpol red notice out for his capture since 2019, was arrested in neighboring Sri Lanka in February.

He was extradited to Maldives in March, and charged with 42 counts of embezzlement which could see him behind bars for 65 years in May. He had been in police custody until the Criminal Court ordered his release in June, declaring the case does not require his detention.

The decision was overturned by the High Court following an appeal by the Prosecutor General’s Office, citing Ammaty may influence witnesses and is deemed an extreme flight risk. 

His release was ordered by the Criminal Court for a second time on October 24 – after the court accepted his sisters as surety.

Ammaty has pled ‘not guilty’ to all 42 charges raised against him.