FSM MD Denies Wrongdoing, NAM and ACC Call for Investigative Scrutiny
Mohamed Gasam, Managing Director (MD) of Fuel Supply Maldives (FSM), has broken his silence over the alleged destruction of several documents at the state-owned oil company.
The matter received public attention after a company staff named Ahmed Anees posted a video to social media showing a large number of the company’s documents being destroyed by putting them through a concrete mixer. Shortly after the video was released, Ahmed Anees, a meter technician with eight years of experience at FSM, was summoned to the company office and suspended. The suspension letter was signed by FSM’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Aishath Fayaza. When initially questioned about the suspension of an employee over the destruction of a large number of FSM documents, Gasam said on Sunday that he was unaware of the matter as he was abroad on leave.
Breaking his silence three days after the incident, Gasam said in a post to social media on Tuesday night that whatever he did at FSM, he did for the betterment of the company.
“I assure you that nothing has been done to give me any illegal gains,” Gasam said.
Responding to allegations of corporate malfeasance, FSM explained on Monday that the destruction caught on video was that of unused old documents that had been in storage for several years. The company alleges that the video is being circulated in bad faith to create a skewed impression of the company among the public and its customers.
However, the National Archives of Maldives (NAM) has since expressed concern over the FSM’s actions and said it would submit the case to the police for investigation.
NAM says all state agencies, including state-owned enterprises, has to comply with the National Archives Act in destroying documentation. According to the National Archives Act of 2011, state documents can only be destroyed after being submitted to the Director General of the National Archives, and in a manner consistent with the Act.
The penalties for intentional damage to an archived item can range from fines of MVR 10,000 to MVR 100,000 and prison terms of five to 10 years.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday called on the police and the Privatization and Corporatization Board (PCB) to halt the destruction of documents at government agencies and companies.
The ACC said in a statement that alteration, destruction or concealment of state documents could hamper future investigations and advised against such actions even when influenced to do so by a particular person. The commission further encouraged that such actions, if witnessed, be immediately reported.
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