The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which led the previous government, has categorically denied allegations made by Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusaan concerning the project to develop police stations in 61 islands.

At a recent press conference, Ihusaan claimed that a staggering US$3.6 million allocated for the construction of police stations across 61 islands, intended as a collaboration with India’s Indira Project Joint Venture Company, had disappeared without trace. According to him, the funds in question were part of a larger US$41 million project, which was supposed to be majorly financed by India’s Exim Bank. Since the Exim Bank retracted its loan offer, the Maldivian government’s advance payment of 15 percent, amounting to US$3.6 million, is now in jeopardy, Ihusaan elaborated.

Ibrahim Ameer, the former Minister of Finance, refuted these allegations, characterising them as either deliberate falsehoods intended to mislead the public or the result of misinformation.

Despite Ihusaan’s claim that the joint venture company to which the project was commissioned does not exist, the websites of the two partners of the Indira Projects JV, Ashoka Buildcon Ltd., a Fortune India 500 company, and Indira Projects and Developments Pvt. Ltd., are publicly accessible.

Ashoka Buildcon is currently engaged in several infrastructure development projects in the Maldives, which include 2,000 housing units for Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation (FDC), along with a police station, accommodation block, and custodial facility in Dhoonidhoo Island, Kaafu Atoll. Ameer dismissed Ihusaan’s assertions that these companies do not exist as a blatant attempt to deceive the public.

Ameer told a local media outlet that he was informed about a meeting between senior company officials and the Home Minister to discuss the commencement of the project. He expressed perplexity at Ihusaan’s deliberate attempts to misinform the public about the company’s existence.

Subsequently, Ihusaan confirmed to a local media outlet that company officials had contacted the ministry regarding the project’s commencement. He verified that he had met with company officials on Wednesday following the press conference where he allegedly questioned the contractor’s existence.

However, the MDP has contradicted this claim about the Wednesday meeting following the press conference, asserting that the company had been in discussions with the government before the press conference.

“Even as Minister Ihusaan was conducting the press conference, representatives of the company were present in the Maldives. They had engaged in discussions with government officials before the press conference. If our information is accurate, these company representatives had also met with officials from the police [Maldives Police Service] before this press conference,” stated Ahmed Easa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kendhikulhudhoo and spokesperson for the MDP’s parliamentary campaign.

Ihusaan later disclosed further details of the meeting, stating that the company representatives had confirmed to the government that the sum of US$3.6 million, which he had earlier alleged to be missing, was indeed received by the company from the MDP-led government and is currently in their accounts.

“They confirmed the receipt of US$3.6 million,” Ihusaan informed local media. He further added that the company had agreed to develop police stations equivalent to that amount.

Additional reporting by Andrew Richards