Parliament today passed to compensate the government for damages incurred as a result of the procurement of oxygen cylinders by Maldives Gas.
Maldives Gas requested 6 companies to submit quotations to procure 47 liters of 4128 oxygen cylinders. However, only 1 company expressed their interest to procure 1000 oxygen gas cylinders.
The remaining procurement of 3000 oxygen gas cylinders was handed over to Singaporean company Probiz. However, the oxygen gas cylinders procured by the company were refurbished and Maldives Gas never used the cylinders.
The embezzlement of procuring 4128 oxygen gas cylinders during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to be over MVR 16 million.
Several accusations have been made against Maldives Gas’ currently suspended Acting Deputy Managing Director, Ikraam Ali who is also accused of sexual misconduct.
The SOE committee investigation stated that the cylinders procured by Maldives Gas via Probiz were more expensive and Ikraam justified the procurement by stating that it was “urgently needed” and he opted for the quicker option. Singaporean company Probiz refused to change the refurbished cylinders.
The committee also reported that Ikram traveled to Singapore with a shareholder of Probiz, the company that won the contract, and that his trip was paid for by the shareholder. In addition, the committee reported that trip records had been collected for further investigation.
Further, one of the MPs said that the cylinders were purchased after Maldives Gas changed its procurement manager for refusing to accept the Probiz quotation, claiming Probiz was not in the business of supplying oxygen cylinders.
The committee also revealed that a parliament member traveled to Singapore with Probiz before the procurement was completed. Although the names of the committee members were not released, local media claimed that it was MDP MP Abdulla Saneef.