Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tsunami Aid Money Controversy in Maldives

While Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are enjoying their honeymoon in the Maldives, the Indian Ocean holiday destination has become the focus of a controversy over tsunami aid money.

Minivan News reports that Commander Michael Lord-Castle, the head of Global Protection Committee (GPC) said that GPC has received information that President Gayoom of Maldives has transferred up to $80 million into private offshore bank accounts.

"We have been advised that between US$60 to $80 million have been transferred from Maldives Governmental funds directly to various private bank accounts in favour of President Gayoom. Some of those funds we understand derive from donations made in respect to the tsunami disaster."

That allegation appears to have infuriated the government, which is sensitive to accusations of corruption, particularly if involving foreign aid.

Lord Castle said his organisation was continuing to investigate the alleged money transfers and would present a report to the European Parliament shortly.

GPC was in Maldives to observe a demonstration Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) was planning for November 10th. Some members of the GPC team, including Lord-Castle, were deported by the government. MDP had canceled the demonstration following a crackdown by the government.

The government has reacted to this accusation saying there is no government money in the private accounts of Gayoom. A report by Haveeru Daily in Dhivehi says President's Office has issued a statement on 18 November in which Chief Government Spokesperson Mohamed Hussain Shareef said that a special Board has been formed in 2005 to ensure that tsunami aid money is audited according to international standards and to monitor the accounts in which the aid money is deposited. The statement said members of the Board would know all details of the tsunami aid money.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy is innocent until proven in this case. Gayoom (locally known as Golha-Bo) has been targeted several times in similar stories in the past but nobody has ever proved this. It may very difficult to trace this as he directly controls the MMA (maldives monetory authority) with help of very close associates. Presidents office and his residence has open budget and states audit office has already agreed that they have not adited these two places since Gayoom took auth the first time in 1979 - this partially proves these stories may have some truth.

Everybody in the country knows that he and his associates lives a lavish lifestyle while the rest of the country lives below porverty line. The time to open the 'P' box is very near as someone has said in a forum.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maumoon has given millions of free loans to his cronies or assosiates from the peoples funds (from Bank of Maldives & Moneytary Authority) wouldn't dare to smuggle out some funds for his own account. After all he feels that the whole country and its wealth belongs to him like he inherited from his parents. So, this shouldn't be surprising. After all he wud always be looking for a getaway too...

10:54 AM  
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12:45 PM  
Blogger hilath said...

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