This is a re-publication of an investigation article published first in now discontinued dhivehiobserver.com
Khadheeja Hassan and November 3rd coup attempt
During the coup attempt of November 3rd 1988, Khadheeja came to the rescue of the Presidential family. Her services this time would guarantee her place in the higher ranks of the Maldivian ruling elite securing her future forever with this government. Khadheeja provided shelter at her own then private residence of M. Gulisthaanuge to the president and his family on that fateful day. Presidential duties on that day were carried out from her house. Khadheeja still boastfully displays an antique chair to anybody who will listen, saying “this is the chair that controlled this country when hope was so little”.
When the Indians arrived to rescue the Maldives from Sri Lankan mercenaries, Khadheeja and her family was included as members of the Presidential family and was moved to the NSS headquarters under heavy Indian guard.
Khadheeja Hassan, Amin Constructions Pvt Ltd and the Tender Board
Amin Construction Pvt Ltd is owned by Abdulla Mohamed. Born in Ari Atoll Dhidhdhoo, Abdulla Mohamed started his business in 1986 as Amin Carpentry. Abdulla Mohamed’s connection to the people in power comes through his wife who is sister of Zaeema Hassan Didi who is married to Abbas Ibrahim, who is brother to the first lady. Zaeema is part of the crowd of ladies that Khadheeja socialises with and is quite close to.
The kind of person Abdulla Mohamed is, at the early stages of his business he was scraping by with not much money or assets to his name. At that time it was Aishath Mohamed Didi (Asaidi of Diamond Villa) who got him an overdraft when she worked at State Bank of India. But later Abdulla Mohamed showed his kindness to her by filing a case against her in court for fraud and got her sentenced to 160 years Banishment. He later partnered Ilyas Ibrahim and sold assets belonging to Felivarru Fish Canning Factory to get capital for his company.
Amin Constructions is currently being used as another arm to gain more money into the ruling families of the Maldives. Recent actions carried out by this government are proof to this fact.
The National Tender Board which is responsible for awarding government contracts was previously run under the Construction Ministry. When MMA decided it was going to build a new building for its offices, Khadheeja saw potential to make some money from the bidding and awarding process of the building. For this to be achieved she needed the Tender Board to be under her control. Khadheeja persuaded President Gayyoom to move the Tender Board under the Finance Ministry. No valid reason was given for the move. Khadheeja was now in a position to directly influce the awarding of major contracts in the country.
When MMA announced the new building all major construction companies in the country submitted bids for the lucrative contract. The bid was won fair and square by a company called Vimla Constructions but they were to suffer greatly for their win.
Vimla Constructions had just recently won the contract for an NSS building, but the MMA project was a bigger one with more money involved. So they gave up the NSS project, so sure that they had the perfect bid for the MMA project. Amin Constructions was hoping they would have the lowest bid, but turned out to be 5 million rufiyaa more than Vimla. But this was not to be an issue as Khadheeja now controls the Tender Board and the contract was awarded to Amin Constructions.
Similar incidents happened for the bidding of the Maldives High Commission in Sri Lanka – Fehige. The contract for the first phase was obtained though the Foreign Minister Fathuhulla Jameel’s influence, resulting in Fathuhulla and Amin Constructions making large sums of money from the contract. Amin completed the 1st phase of the Fehige construction later than schedule and the workmanship was very poor.
When the call went out for the construction of the 2nd phase of Fehige, both Sri Lankan companies and Maldivian companies submitted bids for the project. Amin was awarded the contract despite being the higher bid. Incidentally the lowest bid was submitted by a Sri Lanka party jointly with a Maldivian company who submitted their bid at 2.27 million dollars. Amin’s bid was awarded at 2.40 million dollars.
During this time Fathuhulla was admitted in a hospital in Singapore but he was jointly involved with the Tender Board in the decision to award the contract to Amin. The reason being that they did not want any other party to find out about the shoddy work done on the 1st phase as it would reveal the serious corruption that took place. Khadheeja Hassan, Abdulla Mohamed and Fathuhulla Jameel all made more money again at the same time hiding their previous corruptions. It was all done with a few phone calls.
The construction of the 12 story office building at Velaanaage was won fair and square by a Malaysian company, but gave up the project citing market uncertainties after the Boxing Day tsunami. Amin Constructions was not the second party with the lowest bid but was awarded the contract without going for a re-bid. Again Khadheeja and other conspirators at MMA and the Finance Ministry, and relevant employees at the Presidents Office received large sums of money as bribes. This was another “kind gesture” of Khadheeja Hassan towards Amin Constructions.