According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Health Ministry procured ventilators from Dubai-based Executors General Trading without seeking legal counsel from the Attorney General’s Office.
The Ministry agreed with Executors to purchase ventilators for the Maldives during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. Several irregularities and corruption were later discovered in the dealings with the company. The Maldives has obtained just 15 of the 75 ventilators requested under the agreement. MVR 30.91 million was charged to the company with no performance guarantee.
The Anti-Corruption Commission had asked the PG to prosecute 11 people in connection with the ventilator scandal.
PG Hussain Shameem told Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed in a signed letter that the Health Ministry had sought legal advice from the AG office before signing an agreement with Executors last April. However, further investigation revealed discrepancies between the agreement that was eventually signed and the agreement on which the AG offered legal advice.
According to the PG Office, the variations have now been shared with the ACC to conclude the investigation and determine those responsible. In addition, the ACC has been asked to track down the money trail.
The PG Office initially refused to file charges, claiming insufficient evidence, but later reconsidered after public outrage. The ACC, on the other hand, had argued that the investigation was adequate to warrant charges.