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Kuwait court to open trial against MP Papul on Thursday

Published : Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 at 7:02 PM  Count : 242

Photo: Laxmupur 2  MP Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul

Photo: Laxmupur 2 MP Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul

  A Kuwait court will open trial against Bangladeshi and eight others over the charges of human trafficking and money laundering on Thursday.

Two Kuwaiti lawmakers Saadoun Hammad and Salah Khorshid are facing trial for ‘taking bribe’ from Shahid.

Major General Mazen Sheikh Mazem Al Jarrah, assistant under-secretary of the interior ministry in Kuwait, is also among the accused.

The accused are charged with human trafficking, money laundering, bribing and threatening the state security, reported Arabic daily Al Qabas and Al Ra'I citing the Kuwait public prosecution.

Shahid, MP of Laxmipur-2 seat, was arrested in Kuwait on June 6, reports

The Kuwaiti prosecutors charged Shahid with human trafficking, money laundering and torture on employees of his company, based on the complaints from five Bangladeshi nationals subjected to trafficking.

The incident stirred a political furore in Kuwait.

Worker recruiter Shahid, who runs the Marafie Kuwaitia Group as managing director and CEO, resides in Kuwait according to the Aliens Residence Law.

The Bangladesh MP confessed to bribing Kuwait officials and his statement has been published in different media outlets.

The two lawmakers named there were charged for assisting Shahid in his illegal actions and also for money laundering.

At least 13 people were accused in the case but four were later exempted during the investigation, reported Al Qabas.

Among the accused, six including MP Papul are in prison while two Kuwaiti MPs are out on bail. One accused in the case is absconding.

Shahid won the Laxmipur-2 seat in the 2018 election as an independent candidate. He also launched his successful bid to bring his wife Salina Islam to parliament as a reserved-seat MP.

Having travelled to Kuwait as a migrant worker, Shahid now owns a business empire there. He also has a sizable amount of shares of NRB Commercial Bank, founded by expatriate Bangladeshi entrepreneurs.

His company  Marafie Kuwaitia used to recruit cleaners but later he grabbed other business in Kuwait. Shahid had a license called ‘general trading and contracting’ which enabled him to run a business of many products ranging from children’s toys to antique carpet, reported Gulf News.

Kuwait authorities has already frozen his bank accounts. Bangladesh also opened a probe against him.

No statement was available from Shahid’s lawyer as of now regarding his trial.

Shahid is a 'victim of a conspiracy,' his wife Salina Islam had said earlier.

"Papul's enterprise in Kuwait employs thousands of workers. Many of them are from Bangladesh and they send back millions of takas in remittances to the country," she had said.

"He is suffering in Kuwait as a result of a plot conceived by a certain quarter. Papul is the main victim of the conspiracy. This is being done to tarnish our reputation."

"We don't have any hidden or illegal assets. I've given the ACC details of whatever we have. We are on the side of the law and will fully cooperate with the ACC in the investigation," she had told reporters.

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