Corruption Crime Editors' Picks Governance Politics

Four Maldives foreign missions misappropriated funds

mission heads and Fm

From left to right- Maldives Consul in Trivandrum Ali Adam, Maldives Ambassador to Pakistan Ahmed Saleem, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamed Asim, Maldives Ambassador to Bangladesh Aishath Shaan Shakir, Maldives Ambassador to UAE Dr Hussain Niyaz.

The original Dhivehi article was published on Mihaaru.com website on 13 October 2018

The following is a loose translation:

The latest audit report for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed that Maldives overseas missions in four countries had been accused of mishandling funds and not trying to recover money owed to the missions.

The report released this week signed by Auditor General Hassan Ziyath, the ministry and foreign Maldives missions had spent MVR 1.9 million without authorization on items and services. The report said that from 2014 till last year, goods and services were acquired without permission in Consulate of Maldives in Trivandrum, Embassy of Maldives to Bangladesh and Embassy of Maldives to Pakistan.

The report noted three embassies spent more than MVR1 million without giving notices as stated by Maldives financial law, They were Maldives Consulate in Trivandrum, Maldives Embassy in Bangladesh and Maldives Embassy in the United Arab Emirates.

The report shed light on money missing from Maldives Trivandrum Consulate and personal use by a Consulate staff. According to the report, from the money received, more than 86,000 was missing from the Consulate safe. And MVR 24,000 was taken by a Consulate staff for personal use from the Consulate safe which was returned later last year.

The Auditor General had urged in the report to take action against those who are responsible for the misdeeds committed. The report also mentioned Maldives Bangladesh Embassy not making any effort to recover MVR 300,000 owed to the mission and Embassy staff spending more than MVR 5000 on phone bills defying the norms practised. And while more than MVR 200,000 was spent on staff’s utility bills in Trivandrum Consulate, and it is unsure whether those are expenses have to be born by the Consulate.

The report had urged to recover the money released against Maldives financial law and reclaim money owed to the overseas missions.

Additionally, MVR53 million disclosed as foreign ministry’s tangible assets cannot be verified as to its real value. And it happened that way because the amounts stated as tangible assets were not reconciled.

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