The government has announced that the compensation being paid to the victims of SeaLife's housing fraud will be paid from the performance guarantee paid by SeaLife Global to Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
The announcement came via a tweet from the chief of staff at the President's Office Ali Zahir.
Speaking in regard to the settlement agreement that mandates the government to compensate the victims of SeaLife Global's housing fraud, Ali Zahir said that the compensation will be paid from the performance guarantee that was paid by SeaLife to HDC to commence the housing project. Sea Life had paid HDC a total of USD 1 million as a performance guarantee, which is approximately equal to MVR 15 million.
The 3000 housing units that were to be built under the project were never constructed, and the managing director of SeaLife Global, Ahmed Moosa, fled the country after acquiring an advanced booking fee of MVR 50,000 per person from 200 potential flat buyers. The advanced booking fees were collected in contradiction to the agreement between SeaLife and HDC, which says no advanced payment can be collected before 20 percent of the project is completed.
Ali Zahir assured that HDC will acquire compensation for the losses incurred by HDC in compensating the victims, and that the criminal investigation against SeaLife will continue despite the settlement agreement.
The case against SeaLife has been submitted to the police as well as Civil Court, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery. Charges were pressed against SeaLife, HDC and Economic Ministry.
The compensation that has to be paid to the fraud victims amount to over MVR 20 million.
After fleeing the country following the investigation into the fraud, SeaLife's managing director Ahmed Moosa is now allegedly living in Sri Lanka. An Interpol red notice was issued against him last April.