The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) of Maldives has formally charged Bassam Adeel Jaleel, the President of the Football Association of Maldives (FAM), with embezzlement and money laundering. This follows an investigation into the misappropriation of US$10,000 from funds provided to FAM by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The investigation, initiated on October 22, 2023, by the PGO, revealed that in July-August 2018, Bassam transferred US$10,000 from FAM’s account at the Bank of Ceylon to his personal account at the Bank of Maldives. The transaction was misrepresented as a dollar sale, and the amount, after bank charges, totalled US$9,999. Subsequently, US$1,910 of these funds were transferred to an individual’s account and then to Glacier Investment, a company in which Bassam and his wife, Aminath Maureena, are shareholders. The funds were used for various company expenses and personal expenditures, including paying rent for a Rehendhi flat.

Chief Inspector Yoosuf Looth, at a press conference, highlighted ongoing investigations into several cases of corruption involving FAM. This includes scrutiny into the handling of US$1.9 million received during the Covid-19 pandemic. The PGO’s statement indicates further legal actions may ensue based on future developments and findings of wrongful behaviour.

Bassam Adeel Jaleel has denied all allegations of corruption. However, he now faces a minimum mandatory sentence of one year, seven months, and six days for embezzlement. Additionally, the money laundering charges could result in a prison term of five to 15 years and a fine ranging between US$10,000 and US$ 1 million.

The case is ongoing, and the PGO is requesting the court to facilitate the recovery of the misappropriated US$10,000.