The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has once again filed a recovery suit against Scores of Flair (SOF) after the initial case was dismissed by the Civil Court. The case was then dismissed due to the non-attendance of SOF officials and the MMPRC at court hearings.
The original lawsuit stems from the multi-million-dollar embezzlement scam in which SOF acted as an intermediary to siphon off funds from the sale of islands and lagoons for resort development. The scandal emerged during the tenure of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Despite compelling evidence that large sums of money were laundered through SOF accounts, the prosecution has yet to file charges against any of the company’s shareholders.
Back in September 2017, the Civil Court ordered SOF to repay US$10,708,271 (approximately MVR 164.10 million) to the MMPRC over a period of six months. However, the company failed to comply with the court order. The Civil Court dismissed the case citing MMPRC’s absence from hearings as the cause.
Earlier, during a Supreme Court hearing on former President Yameen’s appeal against his money laundering conviction, it was revealed that the prosecution decided against pursuing charges against SOF’s shareholders. This decision had raised eyebrows, especially as the government had previously released a list of individuals, including sitting parliamentarians, who allegedly benefitted from the embezzled funds.
The State revealed in 2021 that it would not prosecute SOF and its executives, citing the necessity of their cooperation in recovering the lost funds. The public prosecutor elaborated that tracing the embezzled money would only be possible with cooperation from all involved parties.
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