US $ 55 million is a sum of money that 99.9% of Maldivians will never see in their life time, let alone posses. But that is exactly what Yacht Tours, the company that leased Herethere Resort from Maldives Tourism Development Cooperation (MTDC), is demanding from the lessor as compensation for the loss of the island, which according to many tourism experts is unlikely to make any profit anyway.
So why do people make such extravagant demands at all? Simple: They often win, as Yacht Tours itself did a few years back when it won a $ 31 million dollar case against Tourism Ministry for disqualifying its bid for an island in Male Atoll.
This time however, Yacht Tours appears to have run out of luck. On Thursday Civil Court ordered Yacht Tours to pay a sum of $ 895,319 to MTDC in a counter-claim case filed by the latter. However, the main court case, that for $ 55 million filed by Yacht Tours, is dragging on as is the Company's occupation of the island.