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Former Maldives leader jailed for money laundering


AFP Male
Disgraced Maldives ex-president Abdulla Yameen was sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering on Thursday after a corruption probe into the former strongman's rule of the luxury tourist destination.
Yameen, who ran the Indian Ocean archipelago with an iron fist before his shock election loss in 2018, was accused of illegally transferring one million dollars from one of his bank accounts during an ongoing graft investigation.
The 60-year-old was arrested in February on charges of bribing witnesses in the ensuing money laundering trial.
Authorities also froze bank accounts belonging to Yameen that held around USD 6.5 million at the end of last year following accusations he had taken illicit payments.
Investigators believe Yameen could have millions more stashed abroad and are working to repatriate the cash.
Yameen's government regularly jailed opponents or forced them into exile during its five years in power, and the former president relied heavily on China for political and financial support as his human rights record faced criticism.
Current leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's won an unexpected landslide victory last year on a pledge to end corruption, and dissidents have since returned to the country.

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First Published: Nov 28 2019 | 6:00 PM IST

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