Hearings in Yameen’s appeal of order to pay USD 3.4M fine to commence on Wednesday

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyom on his way to a Criminal Court hearing on November 17, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

The first hearing in the appeal lodged by former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom over the USD 3.4 million fine he is required to pay within six months for money laundering has been scheduled for Wednesday.

High Court scheduled the first hearing in the case for 10:15am on Wednesday morning.

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined USD 5 million for money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development on December 25, 2022.

The USD 5 million fine included a USD 3.4 million fine for money laundering and USD 1.6 million fine for bribery.

Criminal Court ordered Yameen to USD 3.4 million from the USD 5 million within six months on February 26th.

The order by Criminal Court states that Yameen acquired USD 1 million in bribes in connection to the sale of Aarah which was deposited to HSBC, and later to his account at BML.

It further detailed that USD 1.29 million was deposited to Yameen’s account in Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) on February 21st, 2017.

The order also states Yameen made a 36-month investment with additional monies at an investment account in MIB, totaling up to USD 3.4 million, on March 14, 2021.

Yameen appealed the USD 3.4 million fine with the High Court on March 13.

The 11-year sentence against him has also been appealed with the High Court, though the court has yet to register the appeal.

Yameen, who is the opposition PPM-PNC coalition’s presidential candidate, needs to win the appeal in order to qualify for the presidential election in September.

The sentence against him had come a year after he was acquitted after getting convicted of similar charges in 2019.