Former President of the Maldives Abdulla Yameen on Wednesday was charged with money laundering in a case related to lease of tropical islands and alleged transfer of $1 million government funds into his personal bank account.
Yameen, who lost presidential election to Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in September 2018, is accused of benefiting from one of the biggest corruption scandal in the island's history as $90 million was allegedly laundered from the state tourism board.
The tourism board had collected the money through the lease of islands and lagoons for development as holiday resorts. The police accused the former President of lying to the anti-corruption watchdog.
"SOF, which benefited from the stolen MMPRC funds, transferred $1 million to Yameen's account at the Maldives Islamic Bank. Yameen was ordered to return the money," the police said.
According to the investigation, Yameen did not return the money as ordered by the Anti-Corruption Commission, but made profitable financial transactions with that.
Yameen has denied all the charges, including that funds from the tourism board were deposited into his bank account, and accused the government of trying to influence the parliamentary polls, scheduled for April 6.
The former President claimed he had transferred the money as per the agreement with the anti-graft commission and the authorities were now "picking a procedural point".
After his questioning last month, he told reporters Outside the police headquarters that $1 million was transferred to an escrow account of the corruption watchdog, but the police found that the money came from Yameen's other bank account.
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