MTDC files lawsuit demanding return of Herathera Resort

Monday, 4 May 2009 09:00

Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has filed lawsuit seeking return of Herathera Resort from Yacht Tours, MTDC Chairman Bandhu Ibrahim Saleem has revealed. The government owned MTDC, which developed the resort and later leased it to Yacht Tours, filed lawsuit after Yacht Tours failed to pay rental charges for over two quarters.

Briefing the media, at news room Fansavees Maalam on Thursday, Bandhu Saleem revealed that Herathera Resort was the only resort which provides an income to the corporation. He said other resorts owned by the corporation are still being developed and as such does not make any money.

Bandhu Saleem revealed that, on behalf of the shareholders, every effort would be made to get the resort back. Some US $ 55 million went in to the development of the resort and all avenues would be explored to get Herathera Resort back to prevent further losses to the corporation.

He noted that during a recent visit to Herathera Resort by an MTDC top level delegation expensive assets like generators and laundry equipments were found damaged and out of service. He also noted that some equipment included in the inventory listing of Herathera Resort are now found in some campaign offices in Hulhudhoo and Meedhoo.

Chairman Bandhu Saleem said the corporation was working on cashing a US 10 million bank guarantee by Yacht Tours. He also informed that if Herathera Resort is not returned by end of May, the outstanding rental charges would exceed the bank guarantee. He further said Yacht Tours still have the opportunity to continue operating the resort provided it pay up the overdue rent and settle other matters.

Meanwhile , at a press conference held on Wednesday, CEO of Yacht Tours Ahmed Mohamed announced that company would laying off some of the 600 employees working at Herathera Resort due to financial difficulties caused by global economic down turn. He said the resort was losing some Rf.100, 000 per day.

Yacht Tours stopped paying rent in December last year, claiming that MTDC had failed to honor its contractual obligation to build a channel between Herethere Resort and Hulhudhoo. Recently a court has ordered Yacht Tours to pay over US $ 8 million in rental charges to MTDC.

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