Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Stealing the Maldives

In 2014 and 2015 the Maldives Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb with the help of President Abdulla Yameen and a number of corrupt local businessmen began leasing out islands and coral lagoons as tourist resorts. These deals were carried out without legally mandated public bids and the profits were embezzled by Adeeb and his cronies. The government and Maldives citizens were in effect robbed of $79 million.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has now mapped out which islands were embezzled under the corrupt reign of the now imprisoned tourism minister. The Explore the Maldives Island Deals interactive map includes a number of options to filter the data. For example the reader can select the 'Worst Deals' option to just see the island leases which have been singled out as among the worst deals for taxpayers. The 'International Brands' option allows you to see which international hotel brands have been building on the embezzled islands. There is also an option to view 'Local Businessmen, Tycoons, and Cronies' to view which of the deals involved local citizens and who those corrupt businessmen are.

You can learn more about how this corruption occurred in How Paradise Was Carved Up and Sold. You can find out more about who benefited from these crimes in Meet the Businessmen and Global Brands that Got the Islands.

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