MIFCO CEO Suspended Amid Corruption Allegations

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Ahmed Shamah Rasheed, the Managing Director and CEO of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company(MIFCO), has been suspended from his position amid an investigation into allegations of corruption and misuse of company funds. The suspension was announced by the Privatisation and Corporation Board (PCB), following complaints received against Rasheed related to corporate governance issues.

The Maldives Committee on State-Owned Enterprises initiated the investigation, uncovering multiple issues at MIFCO. Rasheed and the company face accusations ranging from participation in scams involving fish exports and the oil business to distributing improper financial gifts, using company resources for political activities, and excessive expenditures on personal trips. In total, 12 different allegations have been levied against Rasheed and MIFCO, accusing them of engaging in “illicit businesses” for financial gain.

Rasheed expressed his surprise at the suspension, claiming he was given no prior notice by the PCB and alleging that the actions taken against him violated Maldivian law.

The PCB has cited evidence received via its whistleblower portal, including text messages related to the case, to level five different charges against Rasheed. These charges include using MIFCO’s building for participation in parliamentary elections and unauthorised expenditures amounting to more than MVR 1.3 million (USD 84,400, EUR 79,300).

Mohamed Firaz, Vice President of the PCB, clarified that the suspension was not punitive but a necessary measure to isolate Rasheed temporarily, ensuring an uninterrupted investigation process.

In the wake of Rasheed’s suspension, Bureau Secretariat Ibrahim Saeed, MIFCO CEO, disclosed ongoing corruption within the company, including the illicit trading of goods, specifically rejected exports resold to Thailand-based entities. Saeed alleges that some employees of MIFCO are being kept on the payroll with funds from these illicit activities.

The unfolding situation raises serious concerns about governance and transparency within MIFCO and highlights the importance of rigorous oversight and accountability mechanisms to combat corruption and malpractice in state-owned enterprises.