Maldives bank refuses to accept “laundered” US$10M deposit from Guyanese investor
Malé, Maldives; – The Guyana Guardian has been reliably informed that an Asian bank in the Maldives, a multi Island State in the Indian Ocean, has reportedly refused to accept an unusually large deposit from a once politically-connected Guyanese who is known to be already investing in the hotel business in that country, and is said to have close ties to embattled Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen.
Citing the individual’s (subsequent) inability to provide adequate proof regarding the origins of the funds, a bank source with close links to the international journalism fraternity told this publication that the bank has been refusing to accept the incoming transfer from a New Delhi based bank on behalf of the customer for the past two months since the said bank is already running on a thin line with a Western financial oversight body.
However, ironically, the same bank is said to have previously facilitated millions of dollars in transfers for the said individual among others, without due process.
Over the past year more than a dozen Guyanese are said to have made investment and settlement residency applications to the government of the Maldives.
And even though Guyanese are not known to be traditional immigrant investors in that country, sources are questioning the sincerity of some of those who had came to the islands in that capacity.
In at least five cases, the investors would have recently acquired Indian citizenship and Indian passports, and are basically making investment applications as Indian citizens, with only an indication that they were born in Guyana.
But while there is nothing wrong in Maldives law to conduct business under any one of an individual’s citizenships, the recent rush by many of these Guyanese investors to set up operations there under the protection of the Indian flag is raising eyebrows.
The Maldives is made up of a series of islands in the Indian Ocean and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to its turquoise waters and beautiful beaches each year.
It is also known as an ideal location for troubled businessmen and politicians to frustrate their potential extradition to another country, or to simply disappear in plain sight.
A few days ago, one of the world’s most influential news networks, the Aljazeera channel, published a documentary in which it had claimed that Maldives President Abdulla Yameen had conspired with several businessmen to facilitate the laundering of more than US$1.5 billion through the country’s central bank.
The Guyana Guardian was able to obtain the identities of some of the involved businessmen through some assistance from the Al Jazeera Network. And was also able to determine that, apart from the previously identified persons from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia; a former Guyana government official, and the Guyanese businessman (whose US$10 million deposit was rejected) are also indirectly linked to the same money laundering plot.