The Anti-Corruption Commission’s report on the MMPRC (Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation) embezzlement case has revealed that businessmen who financed President Solih 2018 presidential campaign received large sums of money through SOF; a company which is believed to have laundered the embezzled money.
Among the businessmen implicated in the ACC’s report are Hiyalee Mohammed Rasheed, Akram Kamaaluhdheen, Ilyas Labeeb, and Hussein Shameem (Andhun).
Hiyalee Mohammed Rasheed
The report shows that a company owned by Hiyalee Mohamed Rasheed received over 600,000 USD from SOF. Hiyalee Mohammed Rasheed supported President Solih and was a last-minute financial contributor to the campaign. His younger brother Ahmed Rasheed is also the MDP’s candidate for Hithadhoo central constituency. The two brothers were once supporters of the former President Yameen. After switching sides, they became close associates of former President Nasheed. Mr.Nasheed opened his first office outside Male’ at Mr.Ahmed Rasheed’s residence.
Mr.Akram Kamaaludheen is a mid-level businessman and the former chairman of RajjeTV. It is rumoured that he still controls the TV station through a proxy. He is also a state minister at Minister of Planning. Mr.Akram Kamaludheen received 30,000 USD through SOF. He financed MDP’s campaign activities held in Sri Lanka.
Ilyas labeeb is an ex-MP and the MDP’s candidate for S.Hulhudhoo constituency in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Mr.Ilyas is a shareholder Megachip, which received 9000 USD from SOF. Megachip and its subsidiaries have been financing MDP campaigns for a long time. Mr.Ilyas Labeeb is considered to be a member of former President Nasheed’s inner circle.
Hussein Shameem (Andhun)
Mr.Hussein Shameem or popularly known as Andhun Hussein is a senior member of MDP and has been financing MDP for a long time. Mr.Hussein is also the MDP’s candidate for Henveyru South constituency in the upcoming parliamentary elections. ACC’s report shows that his company Sirius Enterprises Limited received over 500,000 USD from SOF. Mr.Hussein is the managing director of the company.
It was previously believed that senior officials of the former administration benefitted from the money embezzled through MMPRC. However, the report by ACC shows that a huge amount of money was paid to businessmen and politicians loyal to the Maldivian Democratic Party.