PGO appeals with Supreme Court after decision to lift travel ban on Ammaty

SeaLife Global’s Managing Director Ahmed Moosa Mohamed (Ammaty).

The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, a day after the High Court backed the the decision by the Criminal Court to temporarily lift the travel ban on SeaLife Global’s managing director Ahmed Moosa Mohamed (Ammaty) – who is on trial for defrauding over 200 tenants out of millions in booking fees for a planned apartment complex in suburban Hulhumale’.

The Criminal Court had lifted the travel ban on Ammaty on December 6, after he requested permission to travel overseas to undergo a spinal surgery. According to the court, the decision was only temporary – from December 6 to December 26.

The state appealed the decision with the High Court – seeking an injunction to suspend his passport or travel document.

The High Court had issued an injunction last week to suspend Ammaty’s passport until the court made a decision, but ultimately decided to uphold the Criminal Court’s decision.

A hearing was scheduled at the Criminal Court at 01:00 pm on Wednesday to review the original order granting him permission to travel overseas, as the deadline stipulated on the order has expired.

A spokesperson from the PGO told Sun on the office was unhappy with the High Court’s decision, and will file an appeal with the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

They have asked for an injunction to postpone the Criminal Court hearing until the Supreme Court makes its decision.

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.

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

Housing Development Corporation (now Urbanco) later intervened to reimburse the tenants who submitted documents to the corporation, and they were given priority in the sale of Vinares apartments.

Ammaty, who had an Interpol red notice out for his capture since 2019, was arrested in neighboring Sri Lanka in February, 2021.

Ammaty, who has been pressed with 42 charges of fraud and embezzlement, faces 65 years in prison if the charges are proven against him in court.