Business

Qasim’s Villa Group face major staff cuts

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Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim speaks to Mihaaru. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

Financially stricken Villa Group face major staff cuts as more employees are made redundant from its main company and other branches under the Villa umbrella.

Executive Director for Finance, Simad Ibrahim, stated on Tuesday that the company is being restructured and laying off more staff due to financial reasons.

On Sunday, V-Media, a company run under Villa Group, had laid off all 15 staff working in its radio station.

V-Media operated a television station, a radio station, an online publication and also publishes a magazine. While the radio station now broadcasts only the programs that are aired on VTV, the magazine publication has been halted.

Simad Ibrahim assured that even though some managerial positions at its resorts could face redundancies, local staff working in positions of housekeeping and restaurants will not face any layoffs.

Villa Group employs about 4,000 staff, out of which 2,800 are locals while 98% of its managerial positions are also filled by Maldivians.

While Villa Group is facing a financial dilemma, its head and leader of Jumhoory Party Gasim Ibrahim is currently sentenced to jail, convicted of bribery.

Gasim was granted special permission by the government to travel to Singapore for medical reasons, but his travel document has since expired and the government ordered him back. He has fled to Germany, claiming medical reasons, but the government has declared him a fugitive and is working on extraditing him back.

Villa Group’s financial problems escalated when the government cancelled a settlement agreement extended to the group following a delay in payments for five islands leased by the company.

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