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Kuwait suspends security official for taking bribe from MP Shahid

Published : Wednesday, 1 July, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 110
Diplomatic Correspondent

The Kuwaiti government has suspended Assistant under Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Maj Gen Mazen Al-Jarrah for his illegal financial transactions and receiving bribes from the Bangladeshi Parliamentarian Mohammad Shahid Islam, Kuwaiti Daily Arab Times said on Tuesday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh issued the order, the report said. As per Kuwait's Public Prosecution ordered MP Shahid Islam is now in custody on charges of human trafficking and money laundering and jailed for 21 days in the central prison.
Shahid has permanent resident status in Kuwait. He does not carry a diplomatic passport and runs the 'Marafie Kuwaitia Group' as managing director and CEO. According to the media report around 20,000 Bangladeshi works at Marafie. Maj Gen Mazen Al-Jarrah was a partner of Shahid.
Bangladeshi lawmaker Shahid was held by Kuwaiti Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on June 6. Having travelled to Kuwait as a migrant worker, Shahid now owns a business empire there. The businesses of the company with presence in Kuwait, Oman and Jordan range from waste management, cleaning and janitorial services to security solutions to heavy equipment rental to engineering.
Meanwhile, Public Prosecution of Kuwait has said that the present and former lawmakers, politicians and influential government officials will top the list of the accused in visa trading, human trafficking, bribery and money laundering case related to the Bangladeshi MP Mohammad Shahid Islam.
During CID investigation Shahid admitted that he had handed one million Kuwaiti dinars (nearly US$3 million) in cash to the manager of a company in exchange for bringing people from Bangladesh to Kuwait illegally.
Investigation so far have revealed that the annual net profit of the Bangladeshi is estimated at two million Dinars, after deducting all the money spent on others in the form of bribes, gifts in exchange for facilitating his work by bringing in labour from Bangladesh.   
He also admitted to paying large sums of money to high officials including a security official. He also revealed to his interrogators that former and serving Kuwaiti lawmakers were involved in the racket. But he denied all charges that have been filed against him, except for "involvement in bribe." He has admitted to offering gifts and assisting his friends in what he called "several agencies" and they in turn helped him complete the company's transactions, Arab Times says.
The Bangladeshi lawmaker also know by the name Kazi Papul obtained 34 government contracts and is employing 9,000 workers through cleaning tenders, Kuwait Times reported.
He is accused of recruiting thousands of foreign workers, mostly Bangladeshis and charging huge sums of money and of paying low salaries and deducting salaries.
The prosecution charged the Kuwaiti official for accepting bribes for breaching his duties but the accused denied the bribery charge and confirmed that these sums offered are in fact financial sums paid towards services rendered by his sister company for the benefit of the company in which the Bangladeshi MP works.
Informed sources stated that the financial balance of the company amount to about 5 million Dinar, including 3 million Dinars as company's capital, however, the prosecution ordered the central bank to freeze the accounts.
The Bangladesh Embassy in Kuwait had formally asked for information on Shahid's arrest, but the Kuwaiti government did not reply, Ambassador SM Abul Kalam earlier said.

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