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Page added on October 21, 2012

DRP MP Rozaina leaks invoices exposing extravagant spending of former President Gayoom’s family

DRP MP Rozaina leaks invoices exposing extravagant spending of former President Gayoom’s family thumbnail

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Rozaina Adam leaked invoices and bills through Twitter on Friday, exposing the extravagant expenses of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s family out of the former presidential palace Theemuge’s budget allocated for helping the poor.

Responding to allegations of corruption against her father by supporters of former President Gayoom’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), which were backed by PPM MP Ahmed Mahloof, MP Rozaina claimed that Mahloof was given SGD$28,000 out of the Theemuge budget for a “nose job”.

After suggesting that the MP for Thulusdhoo was “possessed by jinns,” MP Mahloof replied that he received assistance from the Theemuge budget for “a serious surgery,” adding, “it was not theft.”

Rozaina however went on to post photos of invoices from Theemuge for purchases of jewelry and other items as well as hotel bills from Singapore for Gayoom’s family and associates, challenging the PPM MP to defend the lavish expenses.

According to Rozaina, the invoices were sent to parliament’s Finance Committee this year attached to the Theemuge audit report for 2007 and 2008. Reviewing audit reports of state institutions is part of the powerful public accounts oversight committee’s mandate.

Among the invoices made public by the DRP MP was a US$30,698 bill for tickets to London for former First Lady Nasreena Ibrahim and five others.

MP Rozaina alleged that the tickets were for “a shopping trip to London by Madam Nasreena and friends at the state’s expense.”

Other expenses included SGD$2,254 for the former President’s son’s spectacles and US$4,284 for fabrics bought in India.

An invoice dated March 31, 2008 showed SGD$14,977 spent for trouser material (polyester viscose), which was authorised and signed by former Executive Director of the Presidential Palace Ismail Faiz.

On December 20, 2006, a purple gold diamond pendant for SGD$824 and purple gold diamond bracelet for SGD$1,510 were bought using Nasreena’s credit card.

Yet another invoice showed over SGD$28,000 paid out of the Theemuge account to the Grand Hyatt in Singapore.

“Yumna’s [Abdul Gayoom] hotel bill from the funds allocated to the Theemuge budget to help impoverished citizens,” MP Rozaina explained.

MP Rozaina also uploaded a credit card statement amounting to US$12,456 dated July 31, 2008 of a shopping spree in London.

“Documentary evidence”

Pressed by Twitter users as to why she had not spoken about the Theemuge expenses before, Rozaina tweeted, “I thought auditor general was politicising. He sent all the bills this year.”

“Previously it was just a report,” she added. “Documentary evidence was sent to the Majlis only this year.”

The MP for Thulusdhoo revealed that parliament’s Finance Committee was reviewing the Theemuge audit report.

MP Rozaina’s husband and DRP MP for Raa Atoll Alifushi, Mohamed Nashiz, is the deputy chair of the committee.

Speaking in parliament last week, MP Rozaina alleged that the Maldivian embassy in the UK spent funds out of its budget to hold a birthday party for Gassan Maumoon, youngest son of former President Gayoom.

Replying to former Transport Minister Adhil Saleem on Twitter, who encouraged her to “tell the world” as there was “no going back,” Rozaina tweeted: “I would never even think of going back. These people are criminals. Specially MAG’s [Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's] good for nothing kids spending ppls [people's] money.”

In September 2011, former President Gayoom left the DRP to form the PPM following an acrimonious split within the DRP and a public spat with his successor and former vice-presidential candidate, DRP Leader and MP for Baa Atoll Kendhoo Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, brother-in-law of MP Rozaina.

One of the leaked credit card statements

“In accordance with rules and regulations”

Meanwhile, the former President’s attorney, Ibrahim Waheed, released a press statement today countering Rozaina’s allegations. Waheed insisted that all expenditure out of Theemuge was “in accordance with the rules and regulations” and in line with the former presidential palace’s budget approved by parliament.

Waheed added that all records and documentation of expenditure were left at the palace files when the former president left office in November 2008. After President Mohamed Nasheed assumed the presidency, he moved the official presidential residence to Muleeage and relocated the Supreme Court and High Court to the former palace.

The statement from Gayoom’s lawyer went on to dismiss Rozaina’s allegations as “baseless” and “bald-faced lies.”

Waheed suggested that the DRP MPs’ accusations were motivated “out of jealousy” caused by the loss of support for her party and the growing strength of PPM, which was “as evident as the noon-day sun.”

The statement further claimed that the Presidential Commission formed by former President Nasheed to investigate corruption and misappropriation of funds – uncovered in over 30 audit reports – failed to find any wrongdoing by Gayoom.

Responding to the statement on Twitter today, Rozaina argued that although Gayoom was the highest authority in the land under the old “blue constitution,” public funds were “misused” when it was spent on the former President’s family and associates.

Cronyism

In April 2009, former Auditor General Ibrahim Naeem – the country’s first independent auditor general, who was appointed by Gayoom in January 2008 – released a damning audit report (English) of the presidential palace’s finances, revealing that over US$ 3 million earmarked for helping the poor was spent on “the president’s relatives, ministers and their families, senior government officials and some MPs.”

The report stated that 49 percent of the palace’s budget, equivalent to MVR 48.2 million (US$3,750,000 at the time), was diverted from the budget for the poor in 2007 and 52 percent, MVR 44.9 million (US$3,500,000), in 2008.

“We believe this is corruption and misappropriation of public funds,” the former Auditor General stated.

An examination of invoices revealed that funds intended for the poor were instead spent on medical trips to Singapore by “influential senior officials”.

This included their travel expenses, stay in expensive hotels, food, taxi fare, long-term apartment rental and medical check-ups.

More than SGD$ 2.3 million (US$1,500,000) was spent on one of Gayoom’s relatives and his family on trips to Singapore throughout 2007 and SGD$ 1.4 million (US$930,000) for another relative and his family for multiple trips to Singapore.

In March 2008, SGD$23,756 (US$16,000) was spent for a minister’s grandson to stay in a hotel in Singapore for 21 days; in April, SGD$50,022 (US$33,000) was spent on medical expenses for a friend of the president’s; and in July 2008, SGD$6,905 (US$4,600) was spent on two pairs of glasses for a minister and his wife.

US$13,000 in cash was given to the leader of an unnamed political party on different occasions throughout 2008.

The funds, spent by the Maldives Government Trade Centre (MGTC) in Singapore, were to be reimbursed by Theemuge.

Invoices and statements of the expenses revealed that most of the trips were arranged via a note or telephone call from Theemuge rather than through a formal procedure.

The invoices leaked by Rozaina showed that “verbal authorisation” was given by Theemuge senior officials.

“Therefore, as these expenses were made to gain the love, loyalty and support of the recipients, and since these expenses were not made for state purposes or for the benefit of all citizens, we note that these expenses were made unlawfully from the budget for personal benefit and gain,” the audit report stated.

The audit report further revealed that funds were unaccounted for in the construction of the presidential palace, which exceeded its budget by US$1.7 million. The total cost of the project amounted to MVR 207 million (US$17 million).

Moreover, an average of MVR 5,500 (US$430) a day was spent on food for the former President and his family – equivalent to one month’s wages for an employee working at the palace at the time.

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29 Comments on "DRP MP Rozaina leaks invoices exposing extravagant spending of former President Gayoom’s family"

  1. mohamed Naseem on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 6:27 PM 

    That’s why the family is so concern about the government to live supper de lax on the house.let the fishing villages stave.No medicine,no food no proper education, the people live in small huts.

    The Palace needs more than Rf110 million on yearly budget for them to live in supper de lax on the house.They could crack any skull or torture any body to death but no justice for them.

    If you try any of these so call equal wrights justice even when people cry for justice by the people whom they have remove there wealth out of the them will be coup.

    And will bring the democratic elected president for Justice by ending the government in a coup.

  2. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 7:47 PM 

    Gayyoom will defend this by saying that Allah gave him permission to spend the peoples’ money as he wished. After all, he is a “scholar” and these are a particular type of breed with special dispensation from Allah to do whatever they pleased!

    For most of us, this is nothing new, but it’s good to see hard documentary evidence. If one looks at the entire history of the country, one will find that the amount of money spent by the State on a single family has never been bigger than that of the Gayyoom family.

    Gayyoom’s lawyer will, of course, claim that this was all proper. It’s his job to defend Gayyoom. He is partially correct in that if there was a budget of US$100 million, for example allocated to Gayyoom’s Palace, then Gayyoom may have been free to do as he pleased.

    However, note that the money was NOT allocated for Gayyoom to spend as he pleased. The vast majority of the money for the Palace was under the guise of the notorious Theemuge Welfare Fund, and any money used from that fund for purposes other than welfare would amount to a criminal offence.

    We all knew that the Welfare Fund was a slush fund for Gayyoom and his family to amuse themselves with shopping sprees to London, Singapore etc, plastic surgery, McDonald’s direct from Singapore, nappies from London etc.

    As I said, it was all probably sanctioned directly by Allah anyway, despite the Maldivian Constitution.

  3. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 8:49 PM 

    The items on the invoice seen here is quite revealing. The thieves had quite some taste.

    I see several purchases from Delfont Mackintosh (http://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/) which is a theatre company in London.

    Other notable visits include Marks and Spencer, Selfridges, Harrods and John Lewis which are of course, the places to shop whilst in London. No mom and pop stores on these invoices.

    I wonder what exactly they spend GBP 12.75 for at the World of Water in Reading. Perhaps a baby turtle for the grandchildren?

    Oh, and they did enjoy good food too. The bill at Kenza Restaurant in London (http://www.kenza-restaurant.com/small.html) comes to a mere GBP 1521 (that would probably feed a poor Maldivian family for a whole year)! What the hell did they eat? A camel perhaps, whilst enjoying the Belly dancing and cocktails…

  4. Larry[geordie]Dodds on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 9:05 PM 

    All Maldivians should know that any spending[however extravagant]by Gayoom and his family,was of course part of the allowances that his government agreed to..You should also be aware that the Maldives was run as his personal empire/business for 30yrs,,and you should also be aware>>that if you don’t shape your government up[Waheed AKA Gayoom]you will see a lot more mis-spending on your behalf!!!!

  5. simple and honest on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 9:45 PM 

    This lawyer of Gayoom is from Foahmulah. Back in 1994 when we were in recruit training camp in Girifushi Island he was a corporal. There were rumors of this lawyer falling in love with one of Gayoom’s daughter “Dhunya” back then.. One should find the truth behind the lawyer’s love story to get a confirmation of his denial in every crime Gayoom has commit.. The lawyer is being blinded by his love for a dishonest ruler’s daughter. Roxaina was a character I dislike so much since she played such a big role in the fall of the first democratically elected leader in the Maldives. A person who has the knowledge of another person’s involvement in a theft is the same as the person who commit the theft in the first place. To conclude I must warn Roxaina to be cautious of the corrupt leaders of PPM as they might want take you like they did to Dr. Afrasheem Ali (mgbh).

  6. Backwardwards and bigoted on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 9:46 PM 

    Shock horror!!!
    Well, this is exactly what we have got back now after the coup. We deserve the government we permit to take office.
    WHERE WAS MY VOTE!

  7. Ibrahim on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 10:44 PM 

    I call upon Minivannews.com Editors not to allow comments using Islamic names in disrespectful ways. I have seen comments by names such as “Maiy Allah” and even “Muhammed PBUH” published. This is unacceptable. Thank you.

  8. tsk tsk on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 10:44 PM 

    No one can deny that the country was an autocracy under Qayyoom and his control over State funds and expenditure was absolute.

    We brought in the 2008 Constitution to bring an end to these activities. However further slush funds and paper companies were set up by the Nasheed-regime for purposes of embezzlement as well.

    What we must celebrate is that we have processes and institutions now to hold government officials accountable.

    As for Qayyoom’s lawyer he is right. Retrospective action against Qayyoom or Nasir or Ameen or Shamsuddeen III can only be effective if sanctioned by Parliament. I’m afraid that Qayyoom’s popularity prevents us from making this a reality while the other previous leaders have all passed away. Yet we can make sure this does not happen again by demanding transparency in government spending.

  9. peasant on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 11:28 PM 

    Rozaina and the DRP fools can now scream until the cows come home, nothing will change. They threw democracy under the bus and allowed Maumoon to consolidate power.

    They defended this dictator, they fought tooth and nail to prevent his extravagance from being publicised, failing that they whitewashed and helped downplay it. All at the same time every peccadillo and misstep by Anni was portrayed as the crime of the century.

    Now that it is politically expedient and MDP out of the way, the DRP believe they have a chance? They did have a chance to portray themselves as moderate alternatives to the divisive MDP and PPM. They did have the opportunity to take the moral high ground against the corruption within the Anni govt, but they instead chose to side with the robber barons whose plunder of this nation was institutionalised.

    The DRP and by extension many Maldivians who chose to back the old Pharoah are the epitome of human stupidity.

  10. peasant on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 12:03 AM 

    “I’m afraid that Qayyoom’s popularity prevents us from making this a reality ”

    Did you get that from the 90% votes he won when contesting with himself? I suppose Anni is being prosecuted because be got paltry 24% in the first round? Criminal prosecution is dependant on the popularity now, thanks for letting us know.

    Please at least stop smoking the stuff when writing these comments and come up with some coherent sophistry. This is just embarrassing.

  11. kaleem on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 12:56 AM 

    Better late than never Rosaina. DRP is in a powerful position to give us justice. Maumoon must be brought to justice for abusing public funds and more. Take him to court in front of a real judge. I’m sure MDP will back this.
    If DRP fails to do this I suspect Maumoon will wipe them out in the next parliamentary election . On the other hand if DRP succeeds in convicting MAG they will become the second major political force in Maldives.
    DRP will commit Harakiri if they take the Maldivian electors for fools.
    GO Rosaina GO!

  12. Patriot on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 2:41 AM 

    MP Mahloof has the dalls to say that “it was not theft.”!
    It was “daylight robbery”, MP! You really deserve to be addressed as “honourable member”!

    Gayyoom and his goons, including the now MP Mahloof (who suppsedly seems to be having a people’s nose, a portion of which could be belonging to every citizen of this country who does not or has not received similar privilege!

    @tsk tsk!

    Being sleeky, cunning and spinning can be one thing.

    But “No one can deny that the country was an autocracy under Qayyoom and his control over State funds and expenditure was absolute.

    We brought in the 2008 Constitution to bring an end to these activities.” can never be sufficient or to prove that all money spent by Gayyoom (as Rozaina seems to allege and Mahloof seems to vouch for), is justice to the people and that it was all right!

    Assuming that the “we” you mention here were the people of Maldives, I would say that we, the people of the country. or those within the parliament, representing us, who were against your Gayyoom’s autocracy, dictatorship, hypocrisy or what ever it was; wanted a proper constitution that will give justice to us, the people!

    But Gayyoom with his majority in the parliament including the notorious 8 members representing himself, did not want to give an inch to the people!

    Instead what he and his goons did was to shape the constitution as such, that it will serve his purposes just the same way it was done for the coup on 7th February and brought down a democratically elected government!

    What you did was to shape the constitution suitable for a parliamentary system be used on a presidential system, without giving the people anything other than injustice and instability!

    If you ever were puffing on anything or whatever, you should have better sense!

    I would never know how many kilos of the tear drop authors of Arabian Nights or ALIF LAILA would have smoked!

    They have never been like you trying to show or prove black as white!

  13. Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 3:44 AM 

    @tsk tsk on Sun, 21st Oct 2012 10:44 PM

    “As for Qayyoom’s lawyer he is right. Retrospective action against Qayyoom or Nasir or Ameen or Shamsuddeen III can only be effective if sanctioned by Parliament.”

    I am afraid to say that you’re very wrong on this one. Retrospective legislation is not needed at all. If it could be proven that even a single laari was spent out of the notorious Theemuge Welfare Fund for a purpose other than welfare, Gayyoom will have to face criminal charges. What’s plainly obvious is that luxury goods and expensive meals were paid out of funds from the “Presidential Palace”. Where exactly did the money come from?

    Even without the criminal element, the old dictator and his family can now be seen for who they really were. All those US$ and GBP on those credit card statements were paid for by the peoples’ money. That’s right, the hard toil of Maldivians up and down the country, breaking their backs in the blazing tropical sun paid for his luxurious meals in expensive restaurants in London and designer goods from the high class department stores of London, Singapore and Dubai.

    How can Gayyoom and his family look straight in the eye of any Maldivian and claim a moral high ground? Just take a look at those credit card bills. These should be translated to Dhivehi and handed out all over the country. There are a whole lot of people still in denial about Gayyoom and somehow believe that he is a saint. The sooner the country realises that this man and his family has the moral fibre of a spider, the better we’ll all be.

  14. Lubna Ali on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 5:41 AM 

    This is only a drop in the ocean. They spent over 33% of our GDP during the last 30 years

  15. Aisha on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 6:00 AM 

    today Qayoom popularity is fallen and we all know that he misused the money which was allocated for the welfare budget to amuse themselves with shopping sprees to London, Singapore etc, nappies from London etc, This is so embarrassing where average Maldivians couldn’t feed their kids properly where Qayoom family spent millions of dollars from the welfare budget which was actually allocated for the poor.

  16. Mohamed on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 6:51 AM 

    @ Tsk tsk

    There were two kings after Shamsudheen abdicated. Noordeen and Fareed. How come you left them out?

  17. Fathun on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 6:52 AM 

    @peasant

    Spot On.

    So only when her father was accused did Roasiana think to twitter. Tweet tweet

  18. garudhiya on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 7:01 AM 

    This is only shows the years 2007 and early 2008, what about the remaining 28 years. This happened while there was some freedom of expression after 2005 due to MDP. Imagine how it would earlier. By the way where is the US$25000/- spent on Nasreena sister Fareeshaas teeth. There will be some hotel bills showing alcohol was also purchased during these trips.

  19. Mariyam on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 8:33 AM 

    Well after being used to such a lifestyle, where they travel in class, dine in class and shop in all classy boutiques, one can hardly blame the MAG family for being desperate enough to bring about the coup. I mean how can we expect such royals to survive on a mere allowance eh. Afterall they wouldn’t want to touch their retirement millions (or maybe billions?)yet.

  20. Shanaa on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 8:59 AM 

    @ Peasant well said. Rozaina and DRP can scream themselves hoarse now, but its a fact that they tried to whitewash Gayoom’s crimes while magnifying every mistake or misstep of Nasheed. They didn’t care about democracy all these days now suddenly they are in the mood to position themselves as the moderate party and thinks Maldivians will fall for that line? Thanks but no thanks.
    Though kudos for Rozaina for leaking these

  21. Ali on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 10:10 AM 

    President Nasheed had all these information in his hands during his time at office. But he refused to publish them for whatever reason. Can you imagine this dhivehi uzthaaz Abdulla Saadiq guy’s medical bill in singapore went over US$50,000/- and he wasnot even aware of it.

    Most maldivians have to beg for their treatment but the regime insiders had everything they wanted. I wish Majlis publish all the details then we know why some of these people are running after qayoom

  22. tsk tsk on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 10:49 AM 

    You all misunderstood me.

    Look at the names and faces surrounding each of these reports. The actual story is that of a Government that used public funds to bribe powerful clans and families. Meanwhile those powerful clans and families are also obviously complicit in what we now condemn as crimes.

    Of course the tabloid aspect of these reports makes us focus on Qayyoom as a villain. After all the documents were leaked for that purpose.

    However the real picture is that of a society which we must do our best to leave behind.

    I fear the political will for fighting corruption and misappropriation of public funds can only be sustained if we focus on the present rather than the past. Just about all political parties active in the Maldives are headed by individuals who benefited from the Qayyoom regime. The MDP is headed by Ibrahim Hussein Zaki, DRP is headed by Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, MRM is chaired by Dr . Mohamed Munavvar and PPM’s leader is Qayyoom himself. I think this list proves my point. Not one of these individuals can say that they did not benefit from the Qayyoom regime.

    If we punish Qayyoom we will then be forced to take down everyone complicit in these acts along with him. Can we? These are after all the oligarchs who control our country from behind the scenes. We only risk losing further confidence in democracy if we demand or hope for unrealistic things.

  23. Ali Shiyam on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 3:43 PM 

    Anni for President!!!

  24. Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 4:48 PM 

    @tsk tsk on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 10:49 AM

    “If we punish Qayyoom we will then be forced to take down everyone complicit in these acts along with him. Can we? ”

    We can and we should. Appeasement and forgetting about the past never lead to a better outcome in the end. Adolf Hitler used that to his advantage. Qayyoom is using that to his advantage (along with the others) and no doubt will rise again, if left unchecked.

    My point is that, unlike your view, I advocate addressing the past as well as building a better future. We have to a closure about what took place in the past and as long as we don’t do that, we will always look behind about what could have been done.

    This doesn’t mean throwing Qayyoom, Zaki, Thasmeen or anyone else into jail. There are other ways to address their “crimes”. Firstly, THEY have got to admit to their crimes and then we as a nation need to find a way to deal with them.

    Living in denial is one of our biggest problems.

  25. Reena on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 5:41 PM 

    Gayoom Bug in the Maldives will comment against all other evidences. Stop all innocence, cause Abdulla Gazee of the Year will say, what Gayoom did was right.

  26. Reena on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 7:33 PM 

    Gayoom ge udah gulun Kaley mennakah salaamathe nuvevunu. Mihaaru ves e othee rRajjeh mathee ga hora alaai gen. Rah yitun badha jjehay iruvess. Dr. Waheedu ge eh vess baareh nethy..
    Gayoom ge kibain salaamaith vevey nee YAGOOM INTER NATION COURT OF JUSTICE AH FONUVUMUN.

    HADAVAA BODU KUREH VI RASKALAAKOH. KAAMINEE GAYOOM GE KIBA IN DHIVEHIN SALAAMAITH KURAH VAASHI EVE. AAMEEN

  27. Hussain on Mon, 22nd Oct 2012 7:45 PM 

    “Cut his hands of Adaalat” it’s worse than GMR!!

  28. Sabina Manik on Tue, 23rd Oct 2012 6:35 PM 

    Anni for president!!!

  29. Barbarian on Wed, 24th Oct 2012 2:32 PM 

    Where are the sheiks of Adalath party calling out cut the hands of these thieves.

    Non.


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