Former Maldive Gas MD faces multiple criminal charges

Former Managing Director of Maldive Gas Abdulla Maumoon; the PG Office is pressing seven charges of bribery against Maumoon for transactions made between December 2013 and November 2018, during his tenure at the state-owned corporation -- Sun Photo/ Fayaz Moosa

Former Maldives Gas Managing Director Abdulla Maumoon on Thursday last week, has been charged with seven counts of accepting bribery.

Maumoon held the top managerial position of Maldives Gas Private Limited during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration.

The former Maldive Gas MD and members of his family are alleged of receiving money from 3DH International, a supplier to Maldive Gas.

Each bribery charge carries a nominal of three years, two months and 12 days of prison time.

 While the Prosecutor General's Office has moved ahead to press charges against Maumoon, he currently resides abroad.

PG Office had requested from the court to table the hearings on Maumoon's case at the earliest possible date. The office also requested from the court to request Maldives Police Service to detain the defendent should they defy attending the trials.

Should the court issue an order to summon Maumoon under detention, Police would be required to seek Interpol's assistance to extradite him back to the Maldives.

In the first charge against him, Maumoon is alleged to have accepted bribery between the period of December 10th, 2013 to November 16th, 2018 in his capacity as the Managing Director of Maldive Gas after contracting a liquid petroleum (LPG) purchase retainer from 3DH International in April 2016.

PG Office said that a total of USD 634,700 - which is the price for a liquid petroleum shipment - was deposited to a Maldives Islamic Bank's account of which Maldive Gas was the beneficiary. PG Office added, USD 29,941.50 out of this total deposit was then transferred to a Bank of Ceylon (BoC) account number under Maumoon's name.

The second charge is related to a transaction dated June 07th, 2016. This time, USD 49,921.50 was transferred to Maumoon's BoC account following the shipment's payment, while another USD 12,201.50 was deposited to a BML bank account under the name of Mon Ark Private Limited, a company with close affiliation to Maumoon.

His third bribery charge was related to another transaction on August 01st, 2016 when another USD 49,949.50 was transferred to Mon Ark's BML account.

For his fourth count of the bribery offence, PG reported Maumoon had transferred USD 29,930 to I Developers Private Limited's bank account registered with Maldives Islamic Bank on April 09th, 2017 following another LPG shipment's payment.

The fifth bribery charge is related to a transaction dated May 15th, 2017. This time USD 46,555 was transferred to Maumoon's Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) account after the payment to the supplier was made.

 Maumoon's sixth bribery charge is related to the transfer of another USD 49,955 on August 23rd, 2017 to his personal account opened at MIB and the seventh charge is related to a transaction dated October 08th of the same year. This time USD 34,950 was transferred to his brother Ahmed Hameed's account opened at BML.

Through all seven transactions, Maumoon and his associated acquired a total of USD 298,403.50 according to the PG Office.