Police raid on FAM headquarters uncovers potential financial irregularities

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Maldives Police Service said that they have received possible evidence or information of potential financial mismanagement by senior members of Football Association of Maldives (FAM).

The law enforcement authority said they have discovered sufficient information suggesting FAM senior members had transferred money the association received from FIFA and other international federations, to their personal accounts and to the bank accounts of their close associates.

While police raided the FAM headquarters on Sunday, October 22, morning, officers are still inspecting the premises.

Although an official word on the matter has not been collected, it was reported that police earlier notified Prosecutor General’s Office of financial mismanagement, corruption and criminal activities by senior officials of FAM.

Police further discovered that FAM had transferred funds it received in US dollars to a private company’s bank account, which belongs to a close associate of the association’s senior members. Additionally, investigations into FAM also discovered that the association did not receive any funds in exchange for the dollars it transferred to the company’s account, which motivated PG Hussain Shameem to order a further investigation into the association.

This also marks the third order by the Prosecutor General to investigate FAM.

In a statement, the Prosecutor General’s Office said it launched the investigation through the Police, following numerous allegations concerning financial mismanagement by senior officials at FAM. According to the PG Office, they have directed the investigation to focus on gathering evidence related to money laundering, graft, and corruption that will assist in pressing charges against anyone found culpable of said offenses.

FIFA meanwhile, has observed it as a third-party intervention following the police raid on FAM. Similar national football federations in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan had previously faced suspensions owing to such third-party interventions. However, FIFA remains undecided regarding the case involving FAM.

Upon inquiring from FAM if the association notified FIFA of the ongoing police investigation, the association said it would proceed with other matters after the probe concludes.Meanwhile, FAM President Bassam Adeel Jaleel has refrained from commenting on the matter and said any statements will be made only after the investigation wraps up.