AG Office question legitimacy of MMPRC's 3 bil dealings

AG Office question legitimacy of MMPRC's 3 bil dealings

The Auditor General's Office, on Tuesday, stated that the legitimacy of transactions valued at MVR 3 billion conducted by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) in 2015 was questionable.

AG Office revealed that debt figures, reserve levels and the sum owed to MMPRC by other companies as stated in the financial statement for 2015 could not be verified as being accurate.

Included in the corporation's debt is MVR 1.5 billion owed to the Ministry of Finance which is presumably acquisition cost for islands released for tourism development.

As per the report, which was released after an unexplained delay of three-years, total amount of funds within MMPRC's accounts in 2015 was MVR 57 million while revenue was MVR 96 million. An additional MVR 70 million was acquired as cost of sales.

The legality of MVR 166 million of cash payments made to MMPRC is also questioned in the report which states that AG Office was not given access to monitor the in-kind cash transactions.

Furthermore, it was stated that a thorough audit could not be carried out as all necessary information could not be attained.

Investigations led by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the AG Office have confirmed MMPRC's culpability in the embezzlement of MVR 1.3 billion of state funds through SOF Pvt Ltd. The MMPRC corruption scandal is the largest corruption case on record in Maldives.

Lengthy prison sentences have been levied on the former vice president and tourism minister Ahmed Adheeb as well as the former Managing Director of MMPRC Abdulla Ziyath, both of whom were implicated in the case.