Ex-VP Adeeb confesses to laundering MMPRC funds

Ex-VP Adeeb confesses to laundering MMPRC funds

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, on Monday, confessed to embezzling and laundering state funds received as the Land Acquisition Cost of leasing islands through Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration.

His statement was made during the hearing held at Criminal Court to increase the ex-VP's remand period, following his recent foiled attempt to flee the country, which disobeyed a direct order from the Supreme Court.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz immediately brought Adeeb's confession to the attention of the judge, requesting the bench to record his admissions. Adeeb's lawyer confirmed that the ex-VP will sign a written statement of his confessions in court.

Adeeb additionally confessed to disclosing the money laundering process in detail to Maldives Police Service, including those who received embezzled state funds and their roles in the corruption scandal. Adeeb asserted that he provided the authorities with evidence backing his statements.

Furthermore, Adeeb confessed to fleeing the country while under a travel ban and admitted that he acted against the agreement signed with the Police promising to provide his full cooperation in the MMPRC investigation.

However, Adeeb's lawyer claimed that Adeeb was cooperating with the investigations, but had to flee the country due to threats and warnings by others involved in the MMPRC scandal.

Adeeb's confessions were made at a time where all the charges formerly pressed against him were dropped. Prior to his escape attempt, the state appealed one of the cases regarding the MMPRC scandal at Supreme Court, resulting in the court ordering authorities to withhold Adeeb's passport until the conclusion of trial.

The MMPRC fraud was the largest recorded corruption scandal that took place in Maldivian history. Although authorities estimate that the state lost a total of MVR 1.3 billion due to illegal land leasing, some suspect that the actual loss is even higher.

Adeeb was sentenced to 33 years in prison in a total of three cases including the 2015 'Finifenmaa' Explosion aboard the presidential launch, but all charges against him were dropped citing that the sentences carried political influence.