Former President Abdullah Yameen has said that he is preparing to file a legal case against Bank of Maldives (BML) for denying him access to the disputed USD 1 million in his escrow account.
In an interview with Sangu TV last night, the former President said that the money seized by the state in an escrow account as part of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company (MMPRC) scandal was money he had earned legitimately and that he had not intended to use the money in an unlawful manner. Yameen said though his former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb had written him a check for USD 1 million, the matter was still in dispute and he was acquitted for the charges last November.
Yameen explained that he had struck an escrow agreement with the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and as part of the agreement, if the ACC was unable to prove that the money belonged to the State within a year, the money should be rightfully returned to Yameen himself. However, BML is yet to transfer the money and plans to sue the bank to get it back, according to Yameen.
Yameen was convicted of money laundering and bribery and was jailed back in 2019 after receiving a sentence of 5 years in jail and a fine of MVR 5 million. However, the Supreme Court accepted his appeal case and acquitted him of the charges based on a few discrepancies and legitimacy of two key witnesses, former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Managing Director of MMPRC Ahmed Ziyath.
The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has filed more money laundering charges against the former President on 24 November 2021 at the Criminal Court regarding the lease of V. Aarah, with the trial currently ongoing. The PGO also has another ongoing case against the Former President of accepting bribes worth MVR 117,000 during the lease of R. Fuggiri for the development of a tourist resort.