Embezzlement of public funds cannot be taken lightly: PG

Prosecutor General (PG) Hussain Shameem has stated cases involving embezzlement of public funds cannot and will not be taken lightly.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), PG Shameem said the state will not hesitate to press charges in any of the major cases of corruption involving embezzlement of public funds. Noting such cases directly affect the public, Shameem said the PG Office and ACC are two of the most important institutions in defending the interests of the public. Therefore, he said it is extremely important that the two institutions work together to ensure such cases are processed in a smooth and efficient manner, without delays and hindrances.

The PG further expressed hope that the new SAP will strengthen the investigation process of ACC. He added the PG Office will be able to press charges within a maximum of 10 days for any case which has been forwarded by ACC with a conclusive investigation and sufficient evidence.

PG Shameem further stated speeding up the process of pressing charges is an important step in ensuring justice. He noted it will also help to gain public confidence in the institutions tasked with providing justice. He expressed confidence the new SAP will strengthen the capacity of ACC and establish a more efficient process of investigation and pressing charges.

PG Office has been working with ACC and other relevant authorities on finalising the charges to be pressed against beneficiaries of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption scandal, which occurred between 2014 and 2015. It is estimated that up to USD 260 million were embezzled through MMPRC with the fraudulent lease of 37 islands and 12 lagoons for tourism development.