This is a re-publication of an investigation article published first in now discontinued dhivehiobserver.com
Who is Ms. Khadheeja Hassan? Most of us know her as the Senior Executive Director of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA). She started her career at Crescent Tourist Agency (C.T.A – No longer in business, was owned by former president Nasir) doing clerical work. From there she moved to State Bank of India as a clerk. After the Central Bank of the Maldives was created by President Gayyoom, she was given a job at the MMA. Thus her beginnings with the current government and her climb to be one of the prime movers of Maldivian banking.
Khadheeja Hassan and the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)
She started her career in the government as a lowly clerk. Her education was that of the grade 10 level. She did her schooling in the 70’s. Now if you can imagine how horrible the education system was back then, we can all imagine how much of an educated person she is and how well equipped she would be with the knowledge to run the most important bank in the country.
She has been at the central bank for the last 23 years and has been at the very top of the central bank for the last 13 years. From the very beginning her services has been highly praised and favourable to president Gayyoom. Although favourable, she has never received a promotion or transfer that would require her to leave the Maldives Monetary Authority. A natural step would have been a promotion to the higher ranks of the Finance Ministry or possibly even the Governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority. Instead all her subordinates have seen this natural move in their careers in the Finance Ministry. In actual fact, this is by design, so that the country’s Finance Minister would be an underling to her, while she can remain answerable only to the President. It has been designed in such a way that Khadheeja Hassan could always maintain a low profile and continue stealing for the current leaders of this country and for her self.
A secret known to all in the country is that she is the facilitator of all corruptions of the country’s highest executive. She has facilitated many funds to be transferred to secret accounts of the president overseas. She is also alleged to be instrumental in obtaining funds for paying bail of Gayyoom’s son, who was involved in a hit-and-run accident in the UK which resulted in the death of an innocent person. The figure is believed to be 1 million pounds. This resulted in the resignation of the then Finance Minister Arif Hilmy in 1999.
It is also a known fact that Khadheeja regularly brings home small bags of cash home from work which she then takes to Theemuge Presidential Palace in the afternoon.
Khadheeja also facilitates daily payments for a shipment that arrives every night from Singapore Airlines, direct from Singapore which also gets paid for through means which are not recorded. The shipment contains some items that are not known and are not paid for from Theemuge Budget. The packages from Singapore also contain items that are paid for from the Theemuge Budget, like morning bread for President Gayyoom.
For years now, her job had seemed more token than real. She goes to work in the morning only to sign in. Just as soon as she has signed in, its tea time with friends. Just as soon as she had come in, it is time to go out with the elite bunch of ladies from the regime. Most of these ladies are the wives of the most powerful regime minders. After these tea parties of gossip she would again go to the office, raise her voice at a few of the employees at the office, get online and chat with friends, and she goes home after a hard days work.
It all sounds like a very “illustrious career”. But how much of this time has been spent serving the needs of the country and how much has been serving the needs of her, very own corruptions?
A look at Khadheeja Hassan’s family and background
- Khadheeja is the first lady Nasreena’s best friend Khadheeja was six years old and eventually became Nasreena’s step sister as well. This relationship has been a mutually beneficial relationship to both parties. Khadheeja is a regular dinner guest at the presidential palace and is believed to be guardian to personal secrets of the first couple including their marital problems.
- Khadheeja’s first love was Summer Blue Ibrahim Hussain Manik, who left her early on in her life to get married into Endherimaage family. Although Ibrahim Manik dumped her for Fareesha the attraction always remained. Now that Khadheeja is single again, it is believed that Ibrahim Manik is cheating on his wife with Khadheeja. It is believed that everybody in Endherimaage family know of this fact, but keeps it hidden as a great family secret.
- Khadheeja’s brother; Mr. Ali Manik – A failed businessman who tried his hand at resort supplies (to Coco Island), a brief spell as a restaurateur (Rendezvous) and currently is the manager of Ranveli Village & Spa (more on Ranveli later).
- First daughter is Dheena Hussain (to Khadheeja’s First husband), senior partner with the law firm Shah, Hussain and Co. The other main Partner is Shuaib Shah Son-in-law to the President of the Maldives. Dheena is also the most senior lawyer at the Police, recently transferred to the Defence Ministry. She is married to Rifath Jaleel brother of recently appointed Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
- Second daughter Zeena Saleem (to Khadheeja’s second husband) is married to a Singaporean and currently resides in Singapore. Zeena is believed to be assisting Khadheeja Hassan gain residency and possible citizenship in Singapore in the event the current corrupt and brutal regime of Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom of the Maldives collapses. It may very well be that she might have already obtained residency or citizenship from Singapore.
- Her youngest child and only son Mahsoon Saleem was lost at sea after he went out on a jet sky without safety precautions. When this tragedy happened Khadheeja was in Sydney at the time. She promptly flew over and was received at the airport by the first lady and an entourage from the presidential palace. She was whisked away from the airport in the presidential yacht to a make-shift command centre that was conducting search and rescue operations for her missing son. It was to be the largest search and rescue operation ever conducted in the Maldivian waters. Rescue planes were commissioned from nearby American base at Diego Garcia (south of the Maldives). An undisclosed sum of money was spent by the government for this operation. Insiders, who are privy to the goings on of the ruling circle, put the figure in millions of dollars. The question that begs at this point is, shouldn’t the government spend the same amount of money and effort on search and rescue operation to save any Maldivian citizen?