Maldives ex-vice president sentenced to 20 years for corruption

Maldives court has sentenced ex-vice president Ahmed Adeeb to 20 years in prison for corruption, embezzlement, money laundering and misuse of government authority related to leasing tropical islands for hotel development, Al Jazeera reports.

Ahmed Adeeb pleaded guilty in September and was fined $129,892.

According to an asset recovery commission formed by the current government, the islands in the popular holiday destination were sold below-market prices. As a result, the government lost nearly $259m.

In his statement to the court, Adeeb said he was ready to cooperate to recover the missing money.

Adeeb became the youngest Vice President of the Maldives in July 2015 at the age of 33. Just a few months later, he was accused of plotting a failed assassination attempt on then President Abdullah Yameen.

In October 2015, Adeeb was first arrested on corruption charges involving stealing nearly $ 80 million from the state treasury while renting islands for tourism.

Subsequently, was jailed for 15 years after being accused of trying to assassinate Yameen. However, in 2018 he was cleared of all charges and court ordered a retrial.

In 2019, Maldivian police arrested Adeeb after he fled the Indian Ocean archipelago and sought asylum in India.