Members of Dhuvaafaru council. (File Photo/Council)

PG decides against prosecution over MVR 2m Dhuvaafaru council graft

Dhuvaafaru Council had committed a fraud of over MVR 2 million, with money deposited in the personal accounts of councillors

26 May 2023

Prosecutor General's Office (PG) has decided not to file charges against eight persons recommended for prosecution by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in connection with the MVR 2 million fraud case against Dhuvaafaru Council.

A special audit conducted by the Local Government Authority (LGA) revealed that the Dhuvaafaru Council had committed a fraud of over MVR 2 million, with money deposited in the personal accounts of councillors. Following an inquiry, the LGA suspended all councillors.

The ACC investigated cases against 12 individuals and in March recommended the PG office to prosecute eight. 

The eight are:

  • Council president Hassan Hakim

  • Council vice president Ismail Ahmed

  • Former councillor Ahmed Samooh

  • Councillor Mohamed Sham

  • Councillor Zuhuda Adam

  • Councillor Aminath Solah

  • Secretary General Mohamed Nasih

  • Former Assistant Director of the council Mohamed Ali 

The ACC sought three charges against all of them: 

  • Abuse of official position to gain undue advantage

  • Misappropriation of public property

  • Acting in a matter which is detrimental to the state's interests

Pointing out that they have decided not to file a chargesheet in the case, an official from PG office told Atoll Times that the plan is to enter into a plea bargain or an advisory agreement with the accused.

"The decision is yet to be finalised. There were procedural issues in the case. There are procedural issues in handling the money," the PG office said when asked about the reason behind not filing the chargesheet.

According to the ACC, a special team had gone to the island after the matter was referred to the commission in July last year, which was found to have led to large-scale cash transactions in violation of norms.

Highlights of LGA’s earlier monitoring report:

  • MVR 1.7 million was deposited in the personal accounts of councillors, women's development committee members and council staff in violation of public finance rules

  • Over a hundred thousand Rufiyaa have been handed over to councillors, members of women's development committee and civic body staff without any permission or documentation, in cash

  • Zakat money of around MVR 400,000 was also deposited in the personal accounts of members