Maldives tourism isn’t all swaying palm trees and white sand beaches. The truth is something far uglier.
Thanks to a trove of leaked files, OCCRP reporters have uncovered the details of an audacious multi-million dollar scheme that saw dozens of Maldivian islands leased out to developers in no-bid deals — and the money then stolen. While local tycoons and international investors cashed in, the people of this island paradise in the Indian Ocean saw precious little.
For the first time, reporters have tracked the deals, finding what was handed out, to whom, and for how much.
The revelations also include fresh evidence that implicates the Maldives’ authoritarian president, Abdulla Yameen, in the scandal.