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Qasim’s Villa Shipping firm settles part of payment owed to state

sun island resort

An employee of Villa’s Sun Island Resort serves tourists. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU

Mihaaru has found out that Villa Shipping and Trading Company, a subsidiary of opposition leader Qasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group, has settled part of the payment it owes the state.

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) had filed a lawsuit at the Civil Court last December 19, seeking over USD 1.2 million (MVR 19.7 million) that Villa Shipping owed to the state, which included USD 188,585 as Green Tax from four of Villa’s resorts and related penalties amounting to USD 89,880.

According to credible sources, Villa Shipping has settled the amount and the court closed the case Tuesday at its Dispute Resolution section.

However, Villa Shipping still has more ongoing lawsuits at the Civil Court, regarding more payments it owes the state.

The state has sued Villa Group’s subsidiaries for a staggering MVR 2.9 billion in various unpaid payments, taxes and fees. The government has subsequently withheld Villa’s license to import liquor and pork products to its resorts. Customs and the police had also raided the resorts recently, claiming illegal transfer of liquor and pork between them, and seized the liquor stock of Fun Island Resort.

In the wake of the raids, the state has issued a temporary two-week liquor license for Villa’s resorts. However, the tourism ministry has hinted that it would not reinstate the license after it expires, accusing Villa of lack of cooperation in settling all the payments it owes to the state. In a statement released Wednesday, the ministry also warned that all of Villa’s resorts may be shut down as a result.

Meanwhile, MIRA had announced in a statement on January 21 that four resorts managed under Villa Shipping had failed to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Green Tax since last year March, which amounts to total USD 5.1 million.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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