Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s bank accounts have been frozen by the new government as it investigates allegations of corruption against him.
As per the local media outlet Mihaaru, the Criminal Court froze Yameen’s accounts at Bank of Maldives (BML) and Islamic Bank of Maldives (IBM) at the request of the police.
While the former president is currently barred from carrying out any financial transactions through his accounts, it is not yet known how long his assets are to remain frozen.
This is the first recorded instance in which the bank accounts of a former Maldivian president have been frozen.
Yameen has been issued a summons to appear at the police headquarters on Saturday at 1400 hours to question him regarding the MVR 22.5 million deposited into his MIB account about two weeks before the 2018 presidential elections held on September 23.
The police issued a statement which confirms that they are currently investigating allegations made by state financial institutions which claim that Yameen carried out illegal transactions when he still held the position of president. The police affirmed that they would take any necessary actions regarding the matter.
While MVR 22.5 million was deposited in Yameen’s MIB account in two seperate instalments, close aides of his had earlier stated that this was for campaign purposes.
The Maldives Election Act obligates presidential candidates to keep separate bank accounts for election-related expenses. It is not known whether the deposit was made to Yameen’s private MIB account or to the one he had set up for the election.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), had reported the transaction to the police when the deposit was made. However, the police did not carry out an investigation at that time.
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