Government spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza has stated that there are no legal grounds to order the halt of the Border Control System (BCS) project carried out by Malaysia's Nexbis Limited.
Ahmed Hamdhoon, Haveeru Online
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:48
Meanwhile, Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed last night claimed that a letter had been forwarded to the Immigration Controller Dr Mohamed Ali asking to halt the project. Jameel expressed his view that the project can only be continued in compliance with the actions recommended by the Attorney General Aishath Azima Shakoor and the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
In response to a question posed by Haveeru, Abbas said that the lower court has ruled that there are no legal grounds upon which the project can be impeded when the ACC had requested a stay order from the court. He added that while the Supreme Court had overruled the High Court’s decision to halt the project, the government does not recognize any basis upon which the project can be stopped.
When asked why the government cannot abide by the ACC’s decision while its policy is to rein in corruption, he said that the ACC had gone through the legal process and that a decision has been made. He said that there is no basis upon which the government can be accused of not cooperating as the BCS project was awarded to Nexbis by the tender board of Finance Ministry and that charges have been filed against the corruption accused head of the tender board by the ACC at the Prosecutor General’s Office (PG).
“Border Control project was assigned after tender board evaluations. Yet charges have been pressed against the tender board head at the PG’s office following the accusations against him. The government do not influence it,” Abbas said.
“I personally believe that if someone is convicted of corruption, the government must seek compensation to the damages caused by the act, even if it means selling the persons’ assets.”
When asked why the claims of the Home Minister that it is the government’s stand to halt the Border Control Project, contradicts the spokesperson’s statement, Abbas stated that the Immigration Department is under the home ministry and hence the Home Minister can be critical of the Immigration Department.
“President had clarified the governments’ stand before he had departed to India. The Border Control project is being carried out upon the agreement with the government. President believes that the halt without considering the potential damages could even cause more harm to the State.”
Abbas said that Maldives need a fingerprint system to keep records of the immigrants and emigrants as Maldives is listed amongst the top most human trafficked countries and that bringing the project to a halt or stopping it is not the policy of the government.
“Maldives should have a fingerprint system. At present there are no ways to check if people are immigrating with false passports. There are no means of checking the amount of people immigrating and emigrating. Maldives is now a well known country for human trafficking. Maldives need to progress from this situation. Hence the government will not stop seeking a system capable of recognizing their fingerprints.” Abbas said.
He also raised the question that those against the fingerprint recognition system are supporting human trafficking. “It has come to an extent where it is now questionable” Spokesperson said.
He said that he believes that the Home Minister is calling for the halt of the BCS project referring to the President’s approval. Abbas further stated that the government believes that the Home Minister and the Immigration Controller would meet with the President to discuss the matter.
While the government spokesperson stated that there are no legal grounds upon which the Border Control System (BCS) project can be stopped, AG Azima Shakoor had earlier stressed that the government should back the ACC’s order to halt the project as it involved allegations of corruption.
Immigration Controller Dr Mohamed Ali today said that he would reply to the Home Minister’s letter.