Public Service Media has paid MVR 30 million of the MVR 78 million owed to Business Image Group (BIG) by Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC).
BIG is a company owned by Mr.Hassan Ismail the Communication Secretary of the President’s Office. He is also the elder brother of Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail.
In 2016, the Civil Court of the Maldives sentenced MNBC to pay MVR 78 million to BIG. MNBC was the public service media company formed during former President Nasheed’s administration.
The Civil Court ordered MNBC to pay MVR 5 million which it owned to BIG in a highly controversial agreement signed between MNBC and BIG. The amount increased to 78 million Rufiyaa due to late payments.
As per the agreement, MNBC had to pay a commission to BIG, from all of their advertisement revenues. An audit report issued in 2014 by the then Auditor General Mr.Niyaz Ibrahim, states that the state-owned corporation should not pay a commission to BIG from advertisement revenues of which BIG had no role in securing.
Many people are criticizing the government for handing out almost 2 million dollars to BIG. Mr.Hassan Ismail owns a 90% stake in the company. However, the personal financial statement submitted by Mr.Hassan Ismail does not show this detail, which shows that the financial statements published by political appointees are not credible.