Police: Approximately USD 2 million received to FAM embezzled

Police entering FAM house under the order of PG office, in relation to money laundering allegations on October 22, 2023.

Maldives Police Service, on Wednesday, revealed they are investigating cases related to the Football Association of Maldives (FAM); one that involves USD 10,000 received to the association being deposited to the accounts of the senior officials and another that involves the embezzlement of USD 1.9 million received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press briefing held on Wednesday regarding major cases under investigation by the Economic Crimes Department – Head of Financial Crimes Unit, Inspector of Police Yoosuf Looth said the authority was investigating several corruption cases against FAM.

“We are presently investigating the suspected case of the deposit of monies issued to FAM by foreign parties to the accounts of senior officials and the subsequent use of this money and its launder,” he said.

In this regard, Inspector Looth detailed the sufficient evidence has been collected to establish that USD 10,000 received to FAM from FIFA had been deposited to the account of a senior official of the association, and subsequently, used.

He noted that the police have seized devices that are linked to these cases. He detailed that the cases involved major sums of money, adding that the police are investigating cases pertaining to separate transactions.

The investigation has only been completed in one case so far; the USD 10,000 received to FAM from FIFA.

Police suspect the involvement of two individuals in the case, whom they identified as Maldivians without disclosing their identities. They have requested charges against the suspects.

Police are also investigating the the embezzlement of USD 1.9 million received to FAM during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A huge part of this investigation has been completed,” Inspector Looth added.

Multiple allegations of corruption have been made against FAM’s former president Bassam Adeel Jaleel. However, Bassam lost his presidency late last month following the resignation of several members of FAM’s Executive Committee.