The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has submitted recordings of phone calls between former President Abdulla Yameen and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb as evidence in the money laundering trial against the former president in relation to the lease of Aarah, Vaavu Atoll for resort development.
During the ongoing trial, the state has submitted phone call recordings as evidence that Yameen ordered then-Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb to transfer the authority over Aarah from the fisheries ministry to the tourism ministry and to lease the island for resort development through MMPRC.
Bribery charges have also been pressed against former MP Yoosuf Naeem in relation to the case. The PGO stated that Aarah was leased to a company that had 99% shares of Naeem, noting the company was formed after the jurisdiction over the island was transferred to the tourism ministry. The PGO stated USD1 million was deposited by the company to the bank account of MMPRC as the price of the island, followed by another USD1 million deposited to the bank account of Yoosuf Naeem which was later transferred to the bank account of former President Yameen.
However, the legal team of the former president has claimed that the USD1 million deposited to his account was part of a foreign exchange transaction though the PGO stated there is no evidence to support this claim.
The PGO has submitted a total of 13 pieces of evidence in the case, while the defendant has submitted 7 pieces of evidence. Some of the evidence submitted by Yameen include documents on the communications between him and Yoosuf Naeem, a statement by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), and some documents from the President’s Office.
Former president Abdulla Yameen is pressed with charges of money laundering and accepting bribes in relation to the lease of Aarah for resort development through Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). The embezzlement of funds acquired from the lease of Aarah was uncovered during the investigation of the corruption scandal of MMPRC.