Ex-defense chief Jaleel denies money laundering allegations

Major-General (Retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel. (Sun Photo/President's Office)

Former Defense Minister Major General (Retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel, expressing dismay over being accused of benefitting from the MMPRC graft scandal, has stated that he never been disloyal to the government.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), on Thursday, sought money laundering charges against Jaleel stating its investigation uncovered that MVR 1 million received by Jaleel from former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor out of the funds MMPRC received for the sale of islands and lagoons for resort development was obtained through criminal means. The commission said there was sufficient grounds to establish Jaleel had been aware the money was obtained through criminal means.

 ACC found Jaleel deposited the money to his personal bank account and spent it.

The commission asked Prosecutor General’s Office (PG Office) to charge Jaleel with money laundering under Article 5 (a) of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act in connection to the case.

ACC also instructed MMPRC to recover MVR 1 million Jaleel received.

Commenting on the accusations – Jaleel told Sun that he had never received any funds from Adeeb, and especially that of related to MMPRC graft scandal.

“(I) became friends with Adeeb after I became the defense minister. Was only the defense minister for eight months and 24 days. Therewith, not such a prominent friendship had been formed. Moreover, there is no reason for Adeeb to give me any money,” Jaleel, who is presently abroad, said.

He also expressed dismay over being accused of being a beneficiary of the MMPRC graft scandal.

“I am extremely saddened because my name has been linked to a money-related case. I have not touched even one cent of the government as I concluded 33 years of service. I ended it very cleanly,” he said.

Jameel expressed hope to receive justice in the case through court process.

Jaleel had been charged with terrorism in connection to the arrest of Criminal Court’s chief judge Abdulla Mohamed during former president Mohamed Nasheed’s administration. However, the court issued him an acquittal.

He went on to serve as former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration’s second defense minister, after his predecessor, Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim was arrested for possession of a handgun.

However, he was dismissed after the explosion on the presidential speedboat ‘Finifenmaa’ in 2015, which Yameen claims was an assassination attempt.

Jaleel was one of the heroes of Maldives’ battle against terror attack of November 3, 1988.