Court summons ex-Maldives President Yameen over money laundering charges

Former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, under whose rule ties with India came under tremendous strain, and his advisor Azima Shakoor have been summoned to appear in a court in the Indian Ocean atoll nation July 11 over money laundering charges

Jul 10, 2019

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MALE: Former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, under whose rule ties with India came under tremendous strain, and his advisor Azima Shakoor have been summoned to appear in a court in the Indian Ocean atoll nation July 11 over money laundering charges.   Yameen and Shakoor will be tried separately at the criminal court, the Maldives Independent reported.  

Yameen was charged with receiving $1 million stolen from the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, which appeared in his personal account at the Maldives Islamic Bank.   The police also claim that Yameen received an additional $1.4 million from an undisclosed source. He had more than $6.4 million in his bank accounts.  

More than $90 million paid as resort acquisition fees to the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation was embezzled during Yameen’s administration, according to the report.  “Yameen’s former adviser and lawyer Azima is accused of helping Yameen to launder money,” it said.   Ties between India and the Maldives remained strained most of last year over Yameen’s policies.

The former President, seen to have been distancing himself from India and leaning towards China, imposed a state of emergency in the Maldives in February last year.   The crisis ended in September when Ibrahim Mohammed Solih, the joint opposition candidate, defeated Yameen in the country’s presidential election.  

Modi attended Solih’s swearing in ceremony on November 17. After assuming power, Solih reiterated his country’s ‘India First’ policy.

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