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Al Jazeera Uncovers Alleged $1.5bn Money Laundering Plot, Bribery, Theft & Fraud in Maldives’ Govt. | WATCH



Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit in a new documentary, Stealing Paradise’, has revealed an alleged $1.5 billion money laundering plot, bribery, theft and fraud at the top of the Maldives government.
President Abdulla Yameen and his former deputy, Ahmed Adeeb, are accused of receiving cash in bags filled with up to $1m, so much that it was ‘difficult to carry,’ according to one of the men who delivered it.
Al Jazeera says:

The new documentary gives an unprecedented insight into how international corruption is carried out. AJ’s Investigative Unit obtained an electronic cache of confidential texts, emails and documents. It includes evidence that ties the president of the Maldives to the largest corruption scandal in its history, in which nearly $80m of money raised from luxury resort leases was stolen.

The documentary also features secretly recorded confessions of three men who helped to embezzle millions and delivered the stolen cash on the orders of the president and his deputy.

The programme finds that the president’s ministers and aides have plotted to launder up to US$1.5bn through the South Asian nation’s central bank, with the help of secretive businessmen from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

They planned to fly in cash at up to $100m at a time, pass it through the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) and transfer it back out.

Anti-Corruption analyst Robert Palmer of Global Witness said:

‘This amount of money and in physical cash I think is quite unusual. I haven’t seen an example of this amount of cash laundered through a central bank. It’s something from a James Bond film’.

Data obtained by the Investigative Unit expose many other abuses of power. The former vice president ordered the police commissioner to ‘blast’ a TV station, which was critical of the government.

He also conspired with police to ‘light up’ a government office housing 200 members of staff. The target of the attack was Niyaz Ibrahim, then Auditor-General investigating the vice president’s corruption.

Ibrahim branded Al Jazeera’s findings as evidence of ‘state-sponsored terrorism by the government against its own people.’

In a statement following its release, the Government of the Maldives said: “There is no evidence in this report connecting President Yameen or current members of his Government to any wrongdoing.”

It noted that these claims already form part of a wider investigation initiated by President Yameen in February 2016. “We have asked Al Jazeera to provide any evidence they have which is relevant to this investigation.”

Watch the video here:


  1. AceOfSpades

    September 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Singapore and Hong Kong is haven for all sort of financial criminals. You can withdraw $2.5m cash from Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong daily and no one bathes an eye lid. Like what business will you do that you won’t want the recipient of that kind of money to be known (hence getting cash instead of transfer)

    Im sure many Nigeria stolen funds are in Asia. They are just focusing on Switzerland and UK and USA. Asia is the real enemy!

    • Anon

      September 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      I think they haven’t discovered that link yet and it may be because they are lower down the rungs in comparison to the countries you named, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Luxembourg, Iceland and even Ireland.

      Re-Hang Seng bank. Their parent company is the daddy of money laundering and corruption and that’s why HSBC is probably the world’s most corrupt bank.

      Then there is also Macau. A yet undiscovered tax haven.

    • EE

      September 8, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      “Asia is the real enemy!”????????? Yes! “Asia” told politicians to be corrupt.

      What’s stopping Lagos from being Asia’s real enemy?

  2. Sisi

    September 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I will be watching, never knew serene Maldives had such issues. Bella can you please update us on the Dan Etete oil saga of OPL245?

  3. tunmi

    September 8, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Where are our own investigative journalists?

    I remember Tobore Ovuorie’s work on prostitution:
    where are the others?

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